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Harvard Study: Eating Nuts Reduces All-Cause Death Risk by 20%

Paul Fassa
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June 10th, 2014
Updated 06/11/2014 at 7:42 pm
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walnuts nuts eating girl 263x164 Harvard Study: Eating Nuts Reduces All Cause Death Risk by 20%Well here we are, slowly and finally debunking the ‘fats are evil’ nonsense that created a long surge of non-fat processed food mania, both unhealthful for consumers and profitable for the processed food industry. Now as this nonsensical no-fat era is gasping on life support, proof that tree nuts are quite healthy and promote longevity as well as disease resistance has come forth without much fanfare. After all, it’s not a patentable drug here; it’s food!

Of course, we’re not talking nuts roasted in unhealthful processed oils and salts. Time to try wholesome raw nuts, even better if possible, nuts in their shells.

Nuts Will Help You Live Longer, Research Says

There has been a humongous epidemiological study recently published in the 2013 New England Journal of Medicine. The study, called “Association of Nut Consumption with Total and Cause-Specific Mortality”, proves eating nuts reduces overall mortality by 20 percent, and regular nut consumers tend to be more slender.

“In two large, independent cohorts of nurses and other health professionals, the frequency of nut consumption was inversely associated with total and cause-specific mortality, independently of other predictors of death,” the study concludes.

This study was conducted by a network headed by the Dan-Farber Cancer Institute with the Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and the Harvard School of Public Health, all located in the Boston area. The study followed up on over 120,000 health professionals, excluding those with heart disease and cancer histories, and their eating habits and medical records for 30 years. This is considered one of the largest dietary prospective studies to date.

Read: The Health Benefits of Pistachios

This study’s published paper states as background:

“Increased nut consumption has been associated with a reduced risk of major chronic diseases, including cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes mellitus. However, the association between nut consumption and mortality remains unclear.”

Tree nuts include walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, macadamias, pecans, cashews, pistachios, and pine nuts. Peanuts are technically legumes, but they too are associated with reduced mortality and chronic disease.

In addition to overall longevity, the researchers isolated how nuts affected various disease mortality rates. Heart disease is the number one disease-killer in America with cancer a close runner-up. Regular nut consumers who often ate a handful or more of nuts were found to have a 29 percent lower mortality rate from heart disease.

Less nuts consumed by study participants showed increased heart fatalities. So where are the ‘fat consumption leads to heart disease’ advocates on this?

Finding Quality Nuts

When it comes to edibles, finding unprocessed, non-irradiated tree nuts is not as easy as the old days when many living area coffee tables contained a bowl of assorted nuts in their shells with a nut cracker or two inside.

Today, most commercially-shelled nuts are “pasteurized” by irradiation, and even organic shelled cashew nuts are pasteurized with a steaming process. Few are sold as raw. The further from any food’s natural state, the less quality nutrients it harnesses – at least that’s one school of thought. What gets damaged primarily and easily from these processes are the enzymes contained within that help fully assimilate the minerals, vitamins, and other phytonutrients.

So where to go for delicious and nutritious nuts that are not “pasteurized”? Well, it may be as simple as searching in a natural health food store. The real issue was knowing what to look for; now that you know, you can find the right nuts.

And if you pine for those times of yesteryear where you were tempted to carry a nutcracker with you to crack open shells of assorted nuts, here’s a Google page that has many sources for assorted nuts in their shells.

From around the web:

  • Onur

    Raw cashews are poisonous, why do this site often come with clearly harmful information ? If there is a person to cause this, he/she should eat some raw cashews for example before sounding like it’s healthier.

  • Mary

    Reduces mortality risk? You mean we’ll live forever? Get a new headline writer!

  • Dave

    Brazil nuts, or as they say in Brazil, “nuts”, is loaded with selenium, and the mineral has the potential to support the heart and complete cardiovascular system. Just 4 to 6 Brazil nuts or less, are needed a week to support your heart. Selenium has been known in farm animals for many years by ranchers, hence the mineral salt licks provided. A good veterinarian will tell you this about your pet, but a MD may not. The cost of a heart transplant and/or a heart bypass is too much money to pass up for many heart surgens, and kick backs from the drug for prescribing statin drugs for general MD’s. This drug does more harm than good.

  • Dave

    Studies of longevity of animals and humans done in the early twentieth century have shown that humans have the ability to live healthily for 140 to 160 years of age. The same way we know that elephants live to 75 to 100 years, sea turtles live to 150 years, dogs, cats, etc.
    Thanks to poor soils and less nutrients in the farm soil, processed and fast foods, GMO crops, overuse of antibiotics in farm animals, and less oxygen in the air, our potential for longevity, for the most part, has been cut in half.

  • AJM

    Eating nuts is great and I’m certain they may extend our years, but the “mortality rate” for all living beiings is 100%. FYI — In all of history there has only been two people to not experience death, Enoch and Elijah.