It is estimated that more than four million people die each year from not eating enough nuts. A review of 20 different studies found that eating even small amounts of nuts daily is associated with significantly less cardiovascular disease, cancer and death from all causes. Most striking was that there was up to 75 per cent fewer deaths from lung disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, infections and kidney disease when nuts, including peanuts, are consumed daily.
High saturated fat and cholesterol intake is associated with more aggressive forms of prostate cancer. Some 1800 men with prostate cancer were classified according to the aggressiveness of their disease, and by the types and amounts of fat and cholesterol in their diet. Those eating the most saturated fat were 50 per cent more likely to have highly aggressive prostate cancer compared with those eating the least.
Children and teens are more likely to consume sugary drinks if they order fast-food “combo” meals that include a beverage. Researchers reviewed the meal choices of almost 500 children at fast food outlets. Those ordering a combo meal that included a beverage consumed 100 more calories compared with those not taking a combo meal. And parents buying a combo meal were 25 per cent more likely to have a sugar-sweetened drink than having no drink or a non-sweetened option.
Drinking alcohol, especially white wine, is associated with an increased risk of melanoma, especially in parts of the body that receive less sun exposure. Three large studies showed that, compared with nondrinkers, there is a 13 per cent higher risk of melanoma for those consuming one glass of white wine per day, and those who consumed two or more standard drinks per day were 73 per cent more likely to be diagnosed with melanomas on their body, yet only 2 per cent more likely to have melanomas on exposed areas such as the head, neck and limbs.
Older adults eating a diet high in fibre appear to almost halve their risk of severe knee arthritis, an eight-year study involving nearly 5000 people who had or were at risk of developing osteoarthritis in their knees revealed. Each year during the study, participants were asked about their diet and their level of knee pain. Those eating the most fibre were 24 per cent less likely to have moderate pain, and 44 per cent less likely to have severe pain, than those eating the least fibre. Fibre from whole grains seemed to be the most protective for arthritis of the knee.
Nerida McKibben is the host of Hope Channel’s health and wellness show, Go Healthy For Good.