A handful of nuts a day cut the risk of several killer diseases

A large analysis of current research shows that people who eat at least 20g of nuts a day have a lower risk of heart disease, cancer and other diseases.
The analysis of all current studies on nut consumption and disease risk has revealed that 20g a day – equivalent to a handful – can cut people’s risk of coronary heart disease by nearly 30 percent, their risk of cancer by 15 percent, and their risk of premature death by 22 percent.

Crunchy Almond Chicken – see the tasty chicken recipe below

An average of at least 20g of nut consumption was also associated with a reduced risk of dying from respiratory disease by about a half, and diabetes by nearly 40 percent, although the researchers note that there is less data about these diseases in relation to nut consumption.
The study, led by researchers from Imperial College London and the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, is published in the journal BMC Medicine.
The research team analysed 29 published studies from around the world that involved up to 819,000 participants, including more than 12,000 cases of coronary heart disease, 9,000 cases of stroke, 18,000 cases of cardiovascular disease and cancer, and more than 85,000 deaths.
While there was some variation between the populations that were studied, such as between men and women, people living in different regions, or people with different risk factors, the researchers found that nut consumption was associated with a reduction in disease risk across most of them.
Study co-author Dagfinn Aune from the School of Public Health at Imperial said: “In nutritional studies, so far much of the research has been on the big killers such as heart diseases, stroke and cancer, but now we’re starting to see data for other diseases.
“We found a consistent reduction in risk across many different diseases, which is a strong indication that there is a real underlying relationship between nut consumption and different health outcomes. It’s quite a substantial effect for such a small amount of food.”
The study included all kinds of tree nuts, such as hazel nuts and walnuts, and also peanuts – which are actually legumes. The results were in general similar whether total nut intake, tree nuts or peanuts were analysed.
What makes nuts so potentially beneficial, said Aune, is their nutritional value: “Nuts and peanuts are high in fibre, magnesium, and polyunsaturated fats – nutrients that are beneficial for cutting cardiovascular disease risk and which can reduce cholesterol levels.
“Some nuts, particularly walnuts and pecan nuts are also high in antioxidants, which can fight oxidative stress and possibly reduce cancer risk. Even though nuts are quite high in fat, they are also high in fibre and protein, and there is some evidence that suggests nuts might actually reduce your risk of obesity over time.”
The study also found that if people consumed on average more than 20g of nuts per day, there was little evidence of further improvement in health outcomes.
The team are now analysing large published datasets for the effects of other recommended food groups, including fruits and vegetables, on a wider range of diseases.
About the research
1. “Nut consumption and risk of cardiovascular disease, total cancer, all-cause and cause- specific mortality: a systematic review and dose-response meta-analysis of prospective studies” by Dagfinn Aune et al. will be published in BMC Medicine at 01:00 London time (GMT) Monday 5 December 2016.
2. About Imperial College London
Imperial College London is one of the world’s leading universities. The College’s 16,000 students and 8,000 staff are expanding the frontiers of knowledge in science, medicine, engineering and business, and translating their discoveries into benefits for society.
Founded in 1907, Imperial builds on a distinguished past – having pioneered penicillin, holography and fibre optics – to shape the future. Imperial researchers work across disciplines to improve health and wellbeing, understand the natural world, engineer novel solutions and lead the data revolution. This blend of academic excellence and its real-world application feeds into Imperial’s exceptional learning environment, where students participate in research to push the limits of their degrees.
Imperial collaborates widely to achieve greater impact. It works with the NHS to improve healthcare in west London, is a leading partner in research and education within the European Union, and is the UK’s number one research collaborator with China.
Imperial has nine London campuses, including its White City Campus: a research and innovation centre that is in its initial stages of development in west London. At White City, researchers, businesses and higher education partners will co-locate to create value from ideas on a global scale. www.imperial.ac.uk

Almond Crusted Chicken – Serves 4 – each serving approx 250 calories


  1. 3/4 cup ground almonds
  2. 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  3. 1 teaspoon dry thyme
  4. 1 teaspoon onion powder
  5. 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  6. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  7. 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  8. 1/2 cup skim milk
  9. 4 boneless, skinless, chicken breast, 4 ounces each
  10. 1 tablespoon olive oil



Heat oven to 400 F. Lightly coat a baking sheet with cooking spray. In a medium bowl, combine the ground almonds, flour, thyme, onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Pour the milk in a separate medium-sized bowl. Coat each chicken breast in the almond mixture, then into the milk, and back into the almond mixture, and place on the baking sheet.

Preheat a nonstick saute pan on medium-high heat, and add the olive oil to the pan. Once the pan is hot, place the chicken breasts in the pan and reduce heat to medium. Sear the chicken breasts on one side until they are golden brown, then sear on the other side for 1 minute. Place chicken back on the greased baking sheet and bake in the oven for about 10 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165 F.

Nutritional analysis per serving

Serving size :1 chicken breast

  • Calories 250
  • Total fat 11 g
  • Saturated fat 1 g
  • Trans fat 0 g
  • Monounsaturated fat 6 g
  • Cholesterol 83 mg
  • Sodium 291 mg
  • Total carbohydrate 9 g
  • Dietary fiber 2 g
  • Total sugars 0 g
  • Protein 28 g

Walnuts – No1 for health nuts

New York: The crinkly walnut is full of potent and abundant antioxidants – more than any other nut, according to new research.

They contain healthy amounts of fibre, protein, vitamins and minerals and other trace elements necessary for a healthy diet.

Eating nuts regularly helps reduce the risk of a number of serious illnesses including heart disease, certain cancers, and type-2 diabetes.

Scientists recently analysed the antioxidant content of nine different types of nut: walnuts, almonds, peanuts, pistachios, hazelnuts, Brazil nuts, cashews, macadamias and pecans.

Lead researcher, Dr Joe Vinson, from the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania, US, said that Walnuts were healthier than all the other nuts.

He said that around seven walnuts a day was the right amount to obtain maximum health benefits.

Dr Vinson’s team found that walnuts not only had more antioxidants than other nuts, but more powerful antioxidants.

Those in walnuts were between two and 15 times more potent than vitamin E, renowned for its antioxidant properties. And unlike other nuts which are generally roasted and loose nutrients as a result, walnuts are generally eaten in their raw state.


Nuts account for just eight per cent of the daily antioxidant consumption in an average person’s diet.

Dr Vinson said many people were put off nuts because they were thought to be fattening. But he pointed out that nuts generally contain healthy polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats rather than artery-clogging saturated fat.

Eating nuts did not appear to cause weight gain and might even reduce over-eating by making people feel full.

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Forget apples, eating fish and nuts are the way to keep the doctor and the dentist away…

GumsIs there no end to the benefits bestowed upon us by the multi-talented good fats?

The old saying goes ‘an apple a day keeps the doctor/ dentist away – delete former/latter depending on your generation. But there seems to be something which can knock any fruit or vegetable into a cocked hat: yes, the humble polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs).

A new piece of research has suggested that Omega 3 fatty acids found in foods such as oily fish, nuts and eggs will help people avoid gum disease and the more serious periodontitis.

The research examined the diet of 182 adults between 1999 and 2004, and found that those who consumed the highest amounts of fatty acids were a whole 30 per cent less likely to develop gum disease and 20 per cent less likely to develop periodontitis (severe gum disease).

Lead researcher of the study, Dr Asghar Z. Naqvi of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Centre in Boston, said: “We found that n-3 fatty acid intake, particularly docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) are inversely associated with periodontitis in the US population.”

As a result of this research, Dr Naqvi believes that dietary therapy could become a less expensive and safer way of preventing/treating periodontitis. Currently treatment involves mechanical cleaning and the application of antibiotics. Encouraging sufferers to eat more fish and nuts would also benefit their health in other ways.

Chief Executive of the British Dental Health Foundation, Dr Nigel Carter, said: “Most people suffer from gum disease at some point in their life. What people tend not to realise is that it can actually lead to tooth loss if left untreated… This study shows that a small and relatively easy change in people’s diet can massively improve the condition of their teeth and gums, which in turn can improve their overall wellbeing.”

The study was published in the November issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association.

Gum disease is caused by plaque (the film of bacteria that forms on the surface of the teeth). To prevent and treat gum disease all the plaque must be removed from the teeth every day by brushing twice a day for two minutes each time. This should be followed by cleaning in between teeth with interdental brushes or floss.

Inflammation and soreness of the gums is one of the first signs of gum disease, and often gums bleed when they are brushed during cleaning. You will notice your gums look puffy and inflamed where they meet your teeth.

Over time gum disease becomes more severe and can impact the tissues supporting the teeth. The bone anchoring the teeth in the jaw is lost and the teeth become loose, if not treated this can lead to teeth eventually falling out. 

Anyone with inflamed and bleeding gums should visit their dentist to find out the appropriate way to treat it. If caught early, gum disease can be easily cured by short term use of medicated gels and mouthwash.

The British Dental Health Foundation is the UK’s leading oral health charity, with a 39-year track record of providing public information and influencing government policy. It maintains a free consumer advice service, an impartial and objective product accreditation scheme, publishes and distributes a wide range of literature for the profession and consumers, and runs National Smile Month each May, to promote greater awareness of the benefits of better oral health.

The Dental Helpline, which offers free impartial advice to consumers, can be contacted on 0845 063 1188 between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday. Alternatively, they can be contacted by email on helpline@dentalhealth.org.uk.

The Foundation’s website can be found at www.dentalhealth.org.uk



Common nut’s success in appetite control


London: Pinolenic Acid, a natural plant extract, from the Korean pine nut (Pinus Koraiensis), has been shown to suppress appetite dramatically without causing harmful stimulatory side effects.

A form of polyunsaturated fatty acid it attacks the underlying mechanisms involved in hunger so effectively that the 18 participants in a recent study reduced their food intake by 36% and experienced a reduction in the desire to eat of 29%. The experiment also produced a significant increase in two hormonal appetite suppressors that send signals of “satiety” or fullness to the brain – cholecystokinin (CCK) which increased by 60% and glucagons-like peptide 1 (GLP1) of 25% that remained for up to four hoursafter eating.

[The experiment which was presented in a paper, “Korean pine nut fattyacids affect appetite sensations, plasma CCK and GLPI in overweight subjects” to the American Physiological Society in April 2006, by Alexandra Einerhand, director, nutrition and toxicology-Europe at Lipid Nutrition, a division of Loders Croklaan, Wormerveer, the Netherlands.] In another recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (5 April 2006), the effects of calorie restriction on health biomarkers were measured in a group of overweight adults over a six month period.

In response to reduced food intake, fasting insulin levels plummeted –
excess insulin acts as a death hormone that devastates virtually every cell and organ system in the body. Insulin overload increases the risk of heart disease, cancer, blindness, stroke, Alzheimer’s, and other age-related diseases. The amount of weight lost in the groups that restricted their calorie intake – the moderate calorie restriction experienced a 24% reduction in body fat mass, while the very low-calorie group achieved a 32% reduction in fat mass.

This process of calorie restriction, at the same time as maintaining optimal nutrition, has been shown to radically extend life span in lower animals and primates. It is thought that this may also apply to humans. Unfortunately, the greatest obstacle faced by anyone undertaking calorie restriction and trying to achieve sustained weight reduction in the nagging sensation of feeling hungry. Most people give into this craving and thus forgo the opportunity to reduce their risks for life-threatening diseases.

In the UK one in four adults is obese and the treatment of obesity-related illnesses, including type 2 diabetes, knee and hip operations cost the HNS ÂŁ1bn last year. Satiety is the sense of food satisfaction and fullness experienced after eating. Hunger and satiety both depend on a complex feed back loop involving many hormones and other substances secreted by the gut that interact with control centres in the brain.

The gut participates in the hunger satiety circuit by secreting two important hormones, cholescystokinin (CCK) and glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1), among others. Cholecystokinin is recognised to suppress appetite in humans. When a partially digested meal rich in fats or proteins leaves the stomach to enter the duodenum (the first portion of the small intestine), the duodenal mucosa cells secrete CCK. In turn CCK stimulates the pancreas to secrete numerous enzymes to help digest food. CCK also acts on the gallbladder to stimulate the release of bile into the small intestine, which helps emulsify and break down fats.

Most important to appetite control, CCK acts to slow gastric emptying and to promote a feeling of fullness, thus suppressing further food intake. Glucagon-like peptide-1 is another hormone that is intimately connected with fullness and satiety. Produced in the small intestine in response to fat and carbohydrates, GLP-1 works in part by activating what is known as the “ileal break” mechanism.

This slows down the absorption of food in the gut, promoting feelings of fullness and satiety, and therefore limits the further desire for food intake. GLP-1 also helps to control the health of pancreatic beta cells, which serve the crucial function of manufacturing insulin in the body. Abnormal beta cell function plays a key role in insulin resistance and scientists believe that therapies that boost GLP-1 levels could help alter the course of diabetes.

Pinolenic acid has been developed into a new supplement, Natural Appetite Control, available for the first time in the UK for adults seeking to lower their calorie intake and maintain a successful long-term weight management programme. Each softgel of new Natural Appetite Control provides 1000mg of a standardised extract of Korean pine nuts containing the highest concentration of pinolenic acid found in any pine nut species.

Pine nuts are used extensively in Mediterranean cookery, such as in Italian pesto, but the nuts of the Korean pine have a far greater concentration of pinolenic acid than those of European pine nuts. The recommended daily dose of this all-natural vegetable-based (suitablefor vegetarians) formula is three softgels taken 30-60 minutes before a meal with the highest calorie content.

To reduce snacking, three softgels may be taken between meals. The best time to take this supplement may be in the evening, to reduce food intake before bedtime. Natural Appetite Control should be used in conjunction with a healthy diet and exercise programme. Results may vary. Natural Appetite Control costs ÂŁ15.30 for 90 softgels and is available from www.thevitalityshopuk.com Telephone enquiries: 0800 011 2496

Real food shock – at London festival


London: WeÂ’ve hand-picked the very best produce and ingredients that we could find to bring you the biggest Farmers Market in the country and you, being as passionate about produce as we are, should come and meet some of the best producers, taste their delectable produce, learn from them and challenge your tastebuds.

Over 500 producers will gather at Earls Court 24-7 April 2008 to celebrate food that is good, clean and fair. With all the talk about the integrity, quality, provenance & sustainability of food in the UK and around the world, we thought it would be a great idea to show you the choices that are out there.

The big difference with the Real Food Festival is that the producers that are hand picked to attend are also heavily subsidised to exhibit. This means that you will get the opportunity to meet some of the best and smallest producers in the world and eat some of the most fabulous food that will leave your mouth watering and your toes tingling!

As well as the amazing producers, you will also be able to learn how to bake bread with food guru Barny Haughton of BristolÂ’s renowned Bordeaux Quay, taste wines with the maker, challenge yourself in a food debate, tantalise your tastebuds in a taste workshops, meet some pigs, follow a produce trail or just chill on a hay bale and listen to a farmers story. Real Food is passionate not preachy, the integrity of the festival will challenge the way most of us think about food on a day to day basis and will inspire a wide audience to change their eating habits in favour of a more sustainable way of eating and enjoying produce.

The FestivalÂ’s Taste workshops will teach you all sorts of things from the differences between cows and goats milk to wheat and malt beers. The workshops provide the ultimate test for your taste buds, created by eco-gastronomes Clodagh McKenna and Sebastiano Sardo of Foodiscovery.

The Real Food Festival is not just a London event. We have just returned from a gastronomic road trip around the country where we have been meeting local producers, from Jersey to Orkney. You will be able to meet the people who reared the pigs, planted the carrots, milked the cows and crushed the grapes: you can taste their produce, learn about it and take it home.

Eco Icons such as Zac Goldsmith, fully support our festival, ‘The way we eat, what we eat, where our food comes from, these are central issues. The Real Food Festival will change the way we think about food and give producers and consumers an opportunity to meet and share their passion for authentic quality produce’.

We promise to celebrate the diversity of modern artisan food, from producer to plate. Visitors will be able to meet and speak to 500 hand-picked producers from Britain and the world.

Visit our website The Real Food Festival to get updates of our journey. Tickets which can be bought online cost ÂŁ15.

The Truth about Fats – by Flora



Did you know that FLORA spread was launched in 1964 when the bright minds in the government and medical profession came together and asked us to create a heart healthy alternative to butter, lard and hard margarines?

Since then weÂ’ve kept working hard to create some of the heart healthiest yet tastiest spreads possible, which means weÂ’ve learned a thing or two about good and bad fats. ThatÂ’s why we thought weÂ’d share what weÂ’ve learned with you, so that you can unravel the myths surrounding fats and make the best choices to help keep your heart healthy.

Take polyunsaturated fats for example, which are important for maintaining a healthy heart as part of a balanced diet and are found in foods like seeds ,nuts & oily fish. The great news is that Flora spreads contain essential polyunsaturates, are low in saturates and are virtually trans fat free, so you can feel good about what you spread on your bread!


Even ‘lighter’ spreadable butters have at least 60% more saturated fat than Flora Light spread, which is low in saturated fat and is still a rich source of essential fatty acids. As a general rule of thumb, the harder the fat is at room temperature, the more saturated fat it contains, e.g. lard, butter & cheese, so try to ensure you don’t eat too much.


On the other hand, butter naturally contains trans fats, as well as saturated fats. As part of our commitment to improving the nation’s heart health, we’re committed to ensuring that the trans fat content of our products remains as low as possible. Both trans fats and saturated fats increase your levels of ‘bad’ (LDL) cholesterol, but trans fats are the superbaddies as they decrease your levels of ‘good’ (HDL) cholesterol too.


And in the UK we eat more saturated fat than is good for us. The amount of butter normally spread on 2-3 slices of bread (20g) contains approximately 10g of saturated fat – thatÂ’s the same amount youÂ’d find in 5 rashers of streaky
bacon! Whereas the same amount (20g) of Flora Original only contains 2.4g of saturated fat, thatÂ’s over 75% less than butter. Eating too much saturated fat can lead to increased cholesterol levels in the body, which has an adverse effect on heart health. All Flora spreads are low in saturated fat, virtually trans fat free and contain essential polyunsaturates so, as part of a balanced diet, they can help to keep your heart healthy.


Cholesterol deposits can start to build up in the arteries in early childhood, so itÂ’s vital that children enjoy a healthy, balanced diet and an active lifestyle right from the word go. The ‘goodÂ’ fats found in Flora spreads are not only essential for healthy growth and development now they can also help to maintain good heart health from childhood through to adulthood as part of a healthy balanced diet. So itÂ’s never too early to start looking after your familyÂ’s heart health – visit nevertooearly.co.uk for more information.


ThereÂ’s a whole range of Flora products for you and your family, created to suit your requirements and appeal to your taste. Flora Original and Light are firm family favourites. Flora Extra Light is perfect for people looking to cut back on their fat intake, Flora No Salt is for those cutting salt from their diet, while Flora Omega 3 Plus contains more of the most effective form of Omega 3 (EPA/DHA from fish) than any other spread, which is good for your familyÂ’s hearts as part of a healthy balanced diet. And if you just canÂ’t do without the taste of butter, thereÂ’s even Flora Buttery Taste!

At Flora, weÂ’re committed to helping you make the right choices, which is why weÂ’ve introduced a simple panel of information across the Flora range. We want you to know exactly what youÂ’re eating when you choose Flora, which is why we provide you with Guideline Daily Amount (GDA) information for certain nutrients. Take a look at the comparison between Flora Original and butter below, and youÂ’ll see why itÂ’s essential to have all of the facts in front of you when youÂ’re choosing what to eat. For more information about GDAs, click on florahearts.co.uk

Beans and nuts inhibit cancer, reveals new research

London: A new study suggests that eating a diet rich in beans, nuts and cereals may help prevent cancer because these foods contain an natural compound that inhibits the growth of cancerous tumors.

Scientists at University College London (UCL) said that the substance called inositol pentakisphosphate, which is also found in lentils and peas, could also help researchers develop new therapies against the disease.

Foods particularly rich in the compound include cashews and peanuts and beans such as kidney, pinto and navy beans, the pulse commonly used in baked beans. Beans and nuts that have been cooked are a better source because the heating process generates more InsP5 as it breaks down other compounds.

Marco Falasca, of the UCL Sackler Institute, said the discovery was particularly exciting because InsP5 was a natural compound that, unlike most anti-cancer agents, was not toxic even if used in large quantities.

“This compound is potentially very interesting as a prevention against cancer,” Dr Falasco said. “Our study suggests the importance of a diet enriched in food such as beans, nuts and cereals which could help prevent cancer.”

In the current study, the scientists proved the anti-cancer properties of inositol pentakisphosphate in mice and cancer cells in the laboratory.

It was found that this compound killed tumor cells and boosted the effect of drugs used against cancer cells such as ovarian and lung cancer cells.

Vegan diet better for slimmers

Washington: Low-fat vegan diets are more successful that those including meat, says a new study conducted by Georgetown University Hospitaland George Washington University in the US.

Half the 59 overweight volunteers followed a strictly vegan diet as part of the experiment conducted by Dr Neal Barnard, president of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine.

The remaining half were given food in line with a national programme designed to reduce illness and death from coronary heart disease in the US, which endorses the consumption of low-fat animal products.

Dr Barnard discovered that those on the vegan diet were able to lose weight without feeling hungry. All the women were of post-menopausal age.

Mr Barnard said: “The study participants following the vegan diet enjoyed unlimited servings of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and other healthful foods that enabled them to lose weight without feeling hungry.

“As they began to experience the positive effects, weight loss and improved insulin sensitivity, the women in the intervention group became even more motivated to follow the plant-based eating plan.”

The journal article also refers to a study of 55,000 women in Sweden which reinforces Dr Barnard’s findings.

Researchers at Tufts University in Sweden found that of the group, 40% of meat-eaters were overweight or obese compared to 25% to 29% of vegetarians and vegans.

Worldwide, vegetarian populations experience lower rates of heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and other life-threatening diseases.

Meanwhile, a new study appearing in September’s Journal of Urology in the States shows that a low-fat, primarily vegan diet may slow the progression of prostate cancer.

Brazil nut ban by European Commission

London: Millions of families will miss out on a longstanding Christmas tradition this year as supermarkets refuse to stock Brazil nuts.

The nuts, popular with afternoon tea around the Christmas tree, have been judged a potential safety risk by the European Commission.

Traces of a toxin that can cause liver cancer have been found in their shells. So the EC has decreed every batch imported from Brazil must be tested for the substance aflatoxin.

Supermarkets claim the cost of destroying any shipments would be too high and are not willing to import them.

Brazil nut kernels, used in nut mixtures and chocolate Brazil nuts, can still be imported from Bolivia and Peru.

But the Combined Edible Nut Trade Association said that Brazil is the only country to export the nuts in the shell.

‘Commercially it is now too risky to import them. The EU have put overly stringent limits on this without really good evidence,’ said the association’s chairman Peter Morgan.

The European limit on aflatoxin levels in Brazil nuts is four parts per billion but Mr Morgan said the U.S. limit is 15 parts per billion.

EC officials say levels 100 times higher than the limit have been found. They fear the substance, caused by contaminating fungi, could pass from the shell to the nut, and then be consumed.

A spokesman said: ‘We would like to lift the restrictions but we are not yet satisfied the Brazilian authorities have taken the correct measures to show they are safe.’

Brazilian embassy commercial spokesman Eduardo Barbosa said: ‘They are harvested by forest people in the Amazon, for whom this ban will have a big impact.’

Sainsbury’s said: ‘This is an industry-wide issue and we are not stocking Brazil nuts in the shell but we are still selling Brazil nut kernels.’