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Nuts, Diet & Obesity

Posted Mar 13 2010 2:07pm

 

Weekly Health Update:


Nuts, Diet & Obesity

 



"A critical weekly review of important new research findings for health-conscious readers..."

 

By, Robert A. Wascher, MD, FACS

 
Photo of Dr. Wascher

Updated:  03/14/2010


The information in this column is intended for informational purposes only, and does not constitute medical advice or recommendations by the author.  Please consult with your physician before making any lifestyle or medication changes, or if you have any other concerns regarding your health.


Welcome to Weekly Health Update


“A critical weekly review of important new research findings for health-conscious readers”

 

 

NUTS, DIET & OBESITY

 

 

In last week’s column, I reviewed recent research suggesting a role for walnuts in reducing elevated cholesterol levels. Based upon some of the comments that I received from readers regarding this “walnut column,” I will present some additional favorable new health research findings on nuts in this week’s column.

 

Hard-shelled nuts tend to be rich in inflammation-fighting omega-3 fatty acids (luckily, the majority of the fat content in hard-shelled nuts is in the form of heart-healthy unsaturated fats), and in plant sterols. As I discussed last week, these compounds help to lower the level of LDL (the “bad cholesterol”) in the blood.

 

The Mediterranean Diet, which is rich in fish, whole grains, nuts, fresh fruits, and fresh vegetables (and low in red meat and highly processed foods), has repeatedly been shown to decrease the risk of the top two causes of premature death throughout the world (cardiovascular disease and cancer). However, some health experts have expressed concerned about the relatively high fat content of nuts, and the possibility that daily nut consumption might lead to an increased risk of obesity. Fortunately, a newly published prospective public health study suggests that the moderate intake of nuts, in combination with the Mediterranean Diet, is actually associated with a decreased risk of obesity.

 

The current issue of the journal Nutrition, Metabolism & Cardiovascular Diseases includes the findings of the Mediterranean “PREDIMED” prospective public health study, which enrolled 847 older men and women, with an average age of 67 years. The diets and activity levels of these patient volunteers were carefully evaluated in this study, and all of these elderly volunteers underwent clinical examinations to determine their waist circumference, and their body mass index, or BMI (a measure of body fat content that is adjusted for both height and weight).

 

After correcting for other dietary and lifestyle factors associated with obesity in these patient volunteers, the data from this study revealed that increased nut intake was associated with both a decreased BMI and decreased waist circumference. For every serving of 30 grams of nuts consumed, waist circumference decreased by 2.1 centimeters (approximately 1 inch), and BMI was reduced by 0.78 (kilograms per meter-squared) in these patient volunteers. Increased vegetable intake was also associated with a decreased waist circumference, as well. (Not surprisingly, meat intake was significantly associated with an increase in both BMI and waist circumference.) Moreover, these findings were observed in both male and female study participants.

 

Walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, pecans, pistachios, pecans, macadamia nuts, and peanuts (which are, technically, not nuts, but which have a nutritional profile similar to hard-shelled nuts) are all rich in omega-3 fatty acids and other heart-healthy nutrients. Because these nuts do contain a significant number of “healthy fat” calories, however, nuts should be consumed in moderation, as with all fat-containing foods. Currently, most experts recommend that 30 to 45 grams (1 to 1.6 ounces) of nuts be added to our daily diet to maximize the health benefits of these delicious nutritional treats!

 

 

To learn more about nuts and the Mediterranean Diet as part of a comprehensive, evidence-based cancer prevention lifestyle, look for the publication of my new book, “ A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race,” in the spring of this year.


I and the staff of Weekly Health Update would like to take this opportunity to thank the nearly 120,000 new and returning readers who visited our premier global health information website last month. As always, we enjoy receiving your stimulating feedback and questions, and I will continue to try and personally answer as many of your inquiries as I possibly can.


Disclaimer:  As always, my advice to readers is to seek the advice of your physicianbeforemaking any significant changes in medications, diet, or level of physical activity


Dr. Wascher is an oncologic surgeon, professor of surgery, cancer researcher, oncology consultant, and a widely published author


For a different perspective on Dr. Wascher, please click on the following YouTube link: 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7-Tdv7XW0qg


 

 

(Anticipated Publication Date: May 2010)
Link to TV36 Interview with Dr. Wascher

(Click above image for TV36 interview of Dr. Wascher)





Send your feedback to Dr. Wascher at:
 

rwascher@doctorwascher.net


Dr. Wascher's Biography


Links to Other Health & Wellness Sites



 

Copyright 2007 - 2010

 

Robert A. Wascher, MD, FACS

 

All rights reserved


Dr. Wascher's Archives:

3-7-2010:    Walnuts, Cholesterol, LDL & Triglycerides

2-28-2010:   Soy Isoflavones & Recurrent Prostate Cancer

2-21-2010:   Testosterone Supplements in Frail Elderly Men

2-14-2010:   Pancreatic Cancer Risk, Sodas & Juice

2-7-2010:      Vitamin D, Cardiovascular Disease & Death

1-31-2010:   Concord Grape Juice Improves Memory

1-24-2010:   Mozart, Music, Babies & Health

1-17-2010:   Breast Cancer, Physical Therapy & Lymphedema

1-10-2010:   Prevention of Surgical Site Infections (SSIs) after Surgery

1-3-2010:      Ginkgo Biloba, Memory & Cognitive Health

12-20-2009:  CT Scans & Cancer Risk

12-13-2009:  Soy Isoflavones Decrease Breast Cancer Recurrence Risk

12-6-2009:   Salt (Sodium) Intake, Stroke & Cardiovascular Disease

11-29-2009:  Exercise & Prostate Cancer Risk

11-22-2009:  Genistein (Soy Isoflavone) & Prostate Cancer

11-15-2009:  Breast Cancer Treatment & Chronic Pain

1-8-2009:      Vitamin D & Breast Cancer Risk

11-1-2009:   Exercise & Prostate Cancer Risk

10-25-2009:  HPV Virus & Risk of Breast Cancer

10-18-2009:  Post-Cholecystectomy Syndrome (Symptoms after Gallbladder Surgery)

10-11-2009: Vitamin D & Falls in the Elderly

10-4-2009:    Surgery, NSQIP, Complications & Death

9-27-2009     Stress, Heart Disease, Exercise & Death

9-20-2009:    Vitamin D & Colorectal Cancer Survival

9-13-2009:    H1N1 Swine Flu Update

9-7-2009:      Green Tea, Aging & Lifespan

8-30-2009:    Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), Diet & Fiber

8-23-2009:   Update on Prostate Cancer and Cryotherapy

8-16-2009:    Exercise Improves Lymphedema Symptoms in Breast Cancer Survivors

8-9-2009:    Breast Cancer Recurrence, Death & Vitamin D

8-2-2009:    Honesty, Dishonesty & Brain Function

7-26-2009:    Coronary Artery CT Scans & Cancer Risk

7-19-2009:    Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) & Ovarian Cancer

7-12-2009:    Breast Cancer & Metformin (Glucophage)

7-5-2009:     Prostate Cancer & Green Tea

6-28-2009:    Air Pollution & the Risk of Deep Venous Thrombosis (DVT)

6-21-2009:    Red Yeast Rice, Statins & Cholesterol

6-14-2009:    Bone Marrow Stem Cell Transplant & Congestive Heart Failure (CHF)

6-7-2009:     Diet, Soy & Breast Cancer Risk

5-31-2009:    Diet and Prostate Cancer Risk

5-24-2009:    Diabetes, Glucose Control & Death

5-17-2009:    Drug Company Marketing & Physician Prescribing Bias

5-10-2009:    Hemorrhoids & Surgery

5-3-2009:      Statin Drugs & Blood Clots (Thromboembolism)

4-26-2009:    Are We Really Losing the War on Cancer?

4-19-2009:     Exercise in Middle Age & Risk of Death

4-12-2009:    Can Chronic Stress Harm Your Heart?

4-5-2009:      Does PSA Testing for Prostate Cancer Save Lives?

3-22-2009:    CABG Surgery vs. PCI in Diabetics with Coronary Artery Disease; Sweetened Beverages and Coronary Artery Disease

3-15-2009:    Depression, Stress, Anger & Heart Disease

3-8-2009:     Coronary Artery Disease: CABG vs. Stents?; Swimming Lessons & Drowning Risk in Children

3-1-2009:     Aspirin & Colorectal Cancer Prevention; Fish Oil & Respiratory Infections in Children

2-22-2009:  Health Differences Between Americans & Europeans; Lycopene & Prostate Cancer

2-15-2009:  Statin Drugs & Death Rates; Physical Activity, Breast Cancer & Sex Hormones

2-8-2009:    Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) & Breast Cancer; Stool DNA Testing & Cancer of the Colon & Rectum

2-1-2009:   Obesity and the Complications of Diverticulosis (Diverticulitis & Bleeding); Obesity, Weight Loss & Urinary Incontinence

1-25-2009:  Prostate Cancer, Fatigue & Exercise; Does your Surgeon “Warm-up” Before Surgery?

1-18-2009:  Cancer and Vitamins; Teenagers, MySpace and Risky Behaviors

1-11-2009:  Exercise Reverses Some Effects of Fatty Meals; Vitamin C and Blood Pressure

1-4-2009:    Secondhand Smoke & Heart Attack Risk; Poor Physical Fitness During Childhood & Heart Disease Risk During Adulthood

12-28-2008:  Stress & Your Risk of Heart Attack; Vitamin D & the Prevention of Colon & Rectal Polyps

12-21-2008:  Breast Cancer Incidence & Hormone Replacement Therapy; Circumcision & the Risk of HPV & HIV Infection

12-14-2008:  Vitamin E, Vitamin C and Selenium Do Not Prevent Cancer; Postscript: A Possible Cure for Down’s Syndrome

12-7-2008:    Generic vs. Brand-Name Drugs, Stress & Breast Cancer Survival

11-30-2008:  A Possible Cure for Down’s Syndrome?; Smoking & Cognitive Decline; Calcium & Vitamin D & Breast Cancer Risk

11-23-2008:   Breast Cancer & Fish Oil; Lymphedema after Breast Cancer Treatment; Vasectomy & Prostate Cancer Risk

11-16-2008:   Vitamin E & Vitamin C: No Impact on Cardiovascular Disease Risk; Does Lack of Sleep Increase Stroke & Heart Attack Risk in Hypertensive Patients?

11-9-2008:     Statins Cut Heart Attack Risk Even with Normal Cholesterol Levels; Statins & PSA Level

11-2-2008:     Radiation Treatment of Prostate Cancer & Second Cancers; Sexual Content on TV & Teen Pregnancy Risk

10-26-2008:   Smoking & Quality of Life

10-19-2008:   Agent Orange & Prostate Cancer

10-12-2008:   Pomegranate Juice & Prostate Cancer

10-5-2008:    Central Obesity & Dementia; Diet, Vitamin D, Calcium, & Colon Cancer

9-28-2008:    Publication & Citation Bias in Favor of Industry-Funded Research?

9-21-2008:    Does Tylenol® (Acetaminophen) Cause Asthma?

9-14-208:     Arthroscopic Knee Surgery- No Better than Placebo?; A Healthy Lifestyle Prevents Stroke

8-23-2008:   Alcohol Abuse Before & After Military Deployment; Running & Age; Running & Your Testicles

8-12-2008:   Green Tea & Diabetes; Breastfeeding & Adult Cholesterol Levels; Fish Oil & Senile Macular Degeneration

8-3-2008:    Exercise & Weight Loss; Green Tea, Folic Acid & Breast Cancer Risk; Foreign Language Interpreters & ICU Patients

7-26-2008:   Viagra & Sexual Function in Women; Patient-Reported Adverse Hospital Events; Curcumin & Pancreatic Cancer

7-13-2008:   Erectile Dysfunction & Frequency of Sex; Muscle Strength & Mortality in Men; Cryoablation for Prostate Cancer

7-6-2008:   Sleep, Melatonin & Breast Cancer Risk; Mediterranean Diet & Cancer Risk; New Treatment for Varicose Veins

6-29-2008:   Bone Marrow Stem Cells & Liver Failure; Vitamin D & Colorectal Cancer Survival; Green Tea & Colorectal Cancer

6-22-2008:   Obesity, Lifestyle & Heart Disease; Effects of Lifestyle & Nutrition on Prostate Cancer; Ginkgo Biloba, Ulcerative Colitis & Colorectal Cancer

6-15-2008:   Preventable Deaths after Coronary Artery Bypass Graft (CABG) Surgery; Green Tea & Colorectal Cancer; Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) & St. John’s Wort

6-8-2008:   Vitamin D & Prostate Cancer Risk; Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA) of Kidney (Renal) Cancer; Antisense Telomerase & Cancer

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5-18-2008:   Can Statins Reverse Coronary Artery Disease?; Does Breast Ultrasound Improve Breast Cancer Detection?; Preventive Care Services at Veterans Administration (VA) Medical Centers

5-11-2008:   Smoking Cessation & Risk of Death; Childhood Traumas & Adult Suicide Risk; “White Coat Hypertension” & Risk of Cardiovascular Disease

5-4-2008:   Super-Size Me: Fast Food’s Effects on Your Liver; Exercise, Weight & Coronary Artery Disease; Contamination of Surgical Instruments in the Operating Room

4-27-2008:   Stents vs. Bypass Surgery for Coronary Artery Disease; The “DASH” Hypertension Diet & Cardiovascular Disease Prevention; Testosterone Therapy for Women with Decreased Sexual Desire & Function

4-20-2008:   BRCA Breast Cancer Mutations & MRI Scans; Bladder Cancer Prevention with Broccoli?; Diabetes: Risk of Death Due to Heart Attack & Stroke

4-13-2008:   Breast Cancer Recurrence & Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT); Carotid Artery Disease: Surgery vs. Stents?; Statin Drugs & Cancer Prevention

4-6-2008:   Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), Pap Smear Results & Cervical Cancer; Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) Infection & Oral Cancer; Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) & the Risk of Gastroesophageal Reflux Disorder (GERD)

3-30-2008:   Abdominal Obesity & the Risk of Death in Women; Folic Acid Pretreatment & Heart Attacks; Pancreatic Cancer Regression after Injections of Bacteria

3-23-2008:   Age of Transfused Blood & Risk of Complications after Surgery; Obesity, Blood Pressure & Heart Size in Children

3-16-2008:   Benefits of a Full Drug Coverage Plan for Medicare Patients?; Parent-Teen Conversations about Sex; Soy (Genistein) & Prostate Cancer

3-9-2008:   Flat Colorectal Adenomas & Cancer; Health Risks after Stopping Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT); Television, Children & Obesity 

3-2-2008:   Medication & Risk of Death After Heart Attack; Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) & Mammogram Results; Selenium: Cancer, Heart Disease & Death

2-23-2008:   Universal Healthcare Insurance Study; Glucosamine & Arthritis

2-17-2008:   Exceptional Longevity in Men; Testosterone & Risk of Prostate Cancer; Smoking & Pre-malignant Colorectal Polyps

2-10-2008:   Thrombus Aspiration from Coronary Arteries; Intensive Management of Diabetes & Death; Possible Cure for  Down's Syndrome?

2-3-2008:   Vitamin D & Cardiovascular Health; Vitamin D & Breast Cancer; Green Tea & Colorectal Cancer

1-27-2008:   Colorectal Cancer, Esophageal Cancer & Pancreatic Cancer: Update from the 2008 American Society of Clinical Oncology's Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium

1-20-2008:   Testosterone Levels & Risk of Fractures in Elderly Men; Air Pollution & DNA Damage in Sperm; Statins & Trauma Survival in the Elderly

1-12-2008:   Statins, Diabetes & Stroke and Obesity; GERD & Esophageal Cancer

1-7-2008:   Testosterone Supplements in Elderly Men; Colorectal Cancer-- Reasons for Poor Compliance with Screening Recommendations

12-31-2007:   Minority Women, Hormone Replacement Therapy & Breast Cancer; Does Health Insurance Improve Health?

12-23-2007:  Is Coffee Safe After a Heart Attack?; Impact of Divorce on the Environment; Hypertension & the Risk of Dementia; Emotional Vitality & the Risk of Heart Disease

12-16-2007:   Honey vs. Dextromethorphan vs. No Treatment for Kids with Night-Time Cough, Acupuncture & Hot Flashes in Women with Breast Cancer, Physical Activity & the Risk of Death, Mediterranean Diet & Mortality  

12-11-2007:   Bias in Medical Research; Carbon Nanotubes & Radiofrequency: A New Weapon Against Cancer?; Childhood Obesity & Risk of Adult Heart Disease

12-2-2007:   Obesity & Risk of Cancer; Testosterone Level & Risk of Death; Drug Company Funding of Research & Results; Smoking & the Risk of Colon & Rectal Cancer 


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