nuts-health.jpgIn case you love gorging on nuts, here’s one good reason that should you keep you going. Researchers part of a Spanish study suggests that a small dose of nuts on a daily basis along with a healthy diet may actually boost your health by lowering your risks of heart diseases.

“The results of the study show that non-energy restricted traditional Mediterranean diet enriched with nuts, which is high in fat, high in unsaturated fat and palatable, is a useful tool in managing metabolic syndrome. You can’t just sit on the sofa this Christmas and eat nuts – you should be making sure that if you add this many calories to you diet, you should take them out somewhere else if possible,” commented, lead author Dr Jordi Salas-Salvado.

“And this probably only refers to tree nuts, such as hazelnuts and almonds, rather than peanuts, which aren’t actually a nut at all. People should also be careful not eat too may salted nuts, as that certainly is no good for your blood pressure,” he added further.

In order to find if addition of nuts boosted existing healthy diets, experts from the University of Rovira i Virgili in Spain analysed more than 1,200 volunteers. The subjects between 55 to 80 years of age suffered from metabolic syndrome and were divided into three groups. Each group was assigned one of the three diets namely a Mediterranean diet with nuts, a diet low in fats and a Mediterranean diet with more than four tablespoons of olive oil a day.

The scientists were surprised to find that a combination of nuts and a Mediterranean diet had the most improved effects on health. It comprised of a mixture of walnuts, hazelnuts and almonds every day along with a Mediterranean diet. Their cholesterol and blood pressure appeared to have improved.

While in the first group only 52% were left with heart risk factors, in the olive oil group, 57% had the syndrome and the low-fat group had very little difference. After a one year period all three groups had fewer people with metabolic syndrome.

The research appears in the Archives of Internal Medicine journal.