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Peanut Eaters May Live Longer, Study Finds

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PEANUTPeanut may not only be a tasty snack but they may also help people to live longer, a new study suggests.

Researchers found that the people in the study who ate the most peanuts tree nuts (such as walnuts, pecans and almonds) every day had a lower risk of dying over a five or six years period than the people who ate the least peanuts and tree nuts, or none of them.

Consuming nuts and peanuts was linked with fewer overall deaths as well as fewer deaths from heart related problems, according to the study published online last week in the Journal JAMA Internal Medicine.

Professor of Medicine in the division of epidemiology at Vanderbilt University Medicine Centre in Nashville Dr. Xiao-Ou Shu, said if people are not allergic to them they should consider eating more peanuts for the heart health benefits because they are cheaper and more affordable than other nuts.

Shu said: “We showed that peanuts have similar cardiovascular benefits to tree nuts. Although peanuts are considered legumes, they have similar nutrients to a nut, six foods that are good for your brain.”

Nuts especially tree nuts such as almonds and walnuts have been widely promoted as heart smart foods based on previous evidence that has tied nut consumption to a lower risk of death from cardiovascular disease in Caucasian people of European ancestry, and those of higher economic status.

However, little was known about the health benefits from eating nuts and peanuts, a less expensive food, among Americans from lower income groups, or in people of different races and ethnicities, the researchers said.

The result for U.S. study group showed that people who nibbled on the most peanuts were 21 per cent less likely to die during the study period than individuals who ate the least. To experience this health benefits, people in the study needed to consume about 17 to 18 grams of peanuts per day, or roughly two-thirds of one ounce, the researcher said.

The analysis looked at peanut butter consumption separated from peanut and tree nut consumption only for the Americans involved in the study, and it found that people who ate more of the popular nut butter also reduced their chances of dying compared with Southerners who rarely used the spread.

Among the study participants of Asian ancestry, regular nut eater reduced their risk of dying by 17 per cent compared with Chinese men and women who rarely ate nuts, the researchers found.

These findings help true in both the Americans and the Chinese even after the researchers took into account a person’s smoking and drinking habits, BMI (body mass index), and metabolic conditions, which can all influence death rates.


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