Consuming nuts regularly reduces by 29% the chances of death by cardiovascular disease.
Consuming nuts regularly reduces by 29% the chances of death by cardiovascular disease. This is one of the main conclusions presented in the III World Congress of Public Health Nutrition, which is being held in Las Palmas until the 14th of November. Within the symposium organized by the INC (International Nut & Dried Fruit Council), the conference entitled Nuts in Health and Disease will analyze the latest studies carried out by some of the most prestigious international scientists in the nutrition sector. The four experts who will take part in the press conference previous to the talk have presented new conclusions about the effect of nut consumption in diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, cognitive degeneration and mortality rates. Nuts and cardiovascular health Professor Jordi Salas from the University Rovira i Virgili of Tarragona (Spain) has talked about how "nut-consumption has a positive effect on cardiovascular health. This is due to nuts' unique nutritional composition: high levels of monounsaturated fatty acids, fibre, minerals and vitamines". This nutrient concentration could explain why "nuts protect the cardiovascular system and have a positive effect against this type of diseases with high mortality rates", explained the professor. Nut-consumption also has a positive effect on the metabolic syndrome control, which is the combination of at least three interlinked cardiovascular risk factors (central obesity, high blood pressure, high triglyceride concentration, low levels of good cholesterol and hyperglycaemia or diabetes, among others). The metabolic syndrome increases the risk of suffering from diabetes type 2 and cardiovascular diseases, being the latter the main mortality cause in the whole world, with 17 million deaths each year. Cognitive functions In the conference entitled "The potential role of nuts in cognitive functions", Dr Joan Sabaté, from the Loma Linda University of California (USA) will examine the potential role of nuts in the prevention of cognitive degeneration. He will present the study he is currently carrying out which "aims to assess if regular walnut consumption prevents the age-related cognitive decline in elderly people". He will then focus on walnuts' nutritional factors and their effects. Mortality reduction Another guest speaker was Dr Ying Bao from the Harvard University of Boston (USA), who has spoken about the relation between nut-consumption and mortality. The conclusions from the study "Relationship between nut-consumption and general and specific mortality" state that an increase in the nut-consumption is directly related to the decrease of the total mortality and of the mortality caused by a specific cause, excluding other indicators. One of the most relevant figures, in Dr Ying Bao words, is that "the cardiovascular-disease induced mortality was reduced by 29% in people who ate nuts four or five times a week". Protection against diabetes Lastly, Dr Cyril Kendall from the University of Toronto (Canada) will present in his conference the latest data that prove that nut-consumption has a protective effect on insuline-resistance and type 2 diabetes. The information comes from the study "Nuts as a carbohydrate alternative in the diabetic diet". Among other conclusions, the study results show that "the daily consumption of nuts improves the glycemic control and the lipid levels in blood in patients with type 2 diabetes", as Dr Kendall explained. The INC, which organized this symposium, "has as a main goal the research of nuts' and dried fruit's properties in the nutrition field in order to inform the consumers about the real benefits of including these foods in their diets", as the INC Executive Director, Goretti Guasch, explains.