A handful of nuts each day cuts your risk of disease

People who eat nuts every day are at much lower risk of several serious diseases. Nuts are delicious, a convenient snack and so good for you. Try to include some in your diet each day.

A large analysis of studies has shown that people who eat at least 20g (0.7 ounces) of nuts every day have a lower risk of heart disease, cancer and other diseases. The specific figures are a reduction in heart disease by almost 30 percent, cancer risk by 15 percent, respiratory disease by approximately half, diabetes by almost 40 percent, and overall risk of premature death by 22 percent.

These are pretty amazing figures. Nuts are such a delicious food; including them in your diet is no great hardship. Unfortunately nut allergies are becoming increasingly common, so it is important to avoid them strictly if this applies to you. However, a lot of people avoid nuts because they believe they are fattening. This is simply not the case. Eating too much of any food can lead to weight gain, but you are far more likely to gain weight from eating grains or sugar.

Nuts are very high in fiber, which helps to keep you feeling full. They also contain essential fatty acids and a range of minerals including magnesium, calcium and zinc. Most nuts are very low in carbohydrate with the exception of chestnuts, peanuts and cashews. If you love nuts it’s extremely easy to eat too many of them. The daily quantity used in the studies is quite low. It’s best to measure out some nuts into a small bowl or container and put the rest away, as there’s a danger of eating the entire big bag in one sitting. Try sprinkling a handful of nuts over your salad or muesli; it will add some variety to your meals and you’ll be getting the health benefits.