Go Nuts: Live Longer

New Harvard research provides the strongest evidence to date that eating nuts can reduce a person’s risk of dying from cancer, heart disease, and a number of other causes.

The study, published in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine, involved more than 118,000 healthy volunteers and found that those who regularly consumed a one-ounce daily serving of walnuts, almonds, cashews or other tree nuts had a 20 percent lower risk of dying from any cause during the three-decade long study compared to those who did not eat nuts.

Nut eaters were 25 percent less likely to die from heart disease, 10 percent less likely to die from cancer, and 20 percent less likely to die from diabetes as well as lung diseases. The study found that nut eaters enjoyed longer lifespans even if they did not exercise, avoided fruits and vegetables, and were overweight.

“The reduction in mortality was substantial,” said senior study author Dr. Charles S. Fuchs, an oncologist at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and a Harvard Medical School professor. “I think eating nuts is comparable to other potentially beneficial lifestyle measures like exercise and avoiding obesity and trans fats.”

The story above first appeared in the Boston Globe on Nov. 21, 2013.