Read more: 6 High-Fat Foods You Should Be Eating.
Read more: 6 High-Fat Foods You Should Be Eating.
Study: Eating Nuts in Pregnancy May Lower a Child\’s Allergy Risk
A Delay in Introducing Allergenic Foods Doesn\’t Prevent Allergies
By LINDSAY GELLMAN CONNECT
Pregnant women who eat more peanuts and tree nuts during pregnancy might be less likely to bear nut-allergic children, a new study suggests.
Pregnant women who eat more peanuts and tree nuts during pregnancy might be less likely to bear nut-allergic children, a new study suggests. Lindsay Gellman reports on Lunch Break.
The research, published Monday in the journal JAMA Pediatrics, supports the current consensus among medical professionals that delaying the introduction of nuts, milk, fish, shellfish, eggs and other highly allergenic foods in young children doesn\’t prevent the development of food allergies, said Michael C. Young, associate clinical professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School, and a senior author of the study.
The more nuts a mother ate during pregnancy, or a year before or after, the lower her child\’s nut-allergy risk. Getty Images
The findings inversely link a pregnant mother\’s consumption of peanuts or tree nuts with the onset of nut allergies in her child. The more nuts the mother ate while pregnant, or within a year before or after pregnancy, the lower the risk that the child would go on to develop nut allergies, Dr. Young said. The study doesn\’t demonstrate a causal relationship between a pregnant mother\’s diet and the onset of nut allergies in her offspring, he said.
The researchers stopped short of advising pregnant women to eat more nuts. Further, interventional studies—in which researchers would separate participating pregnant women into groups and prescribe their diets, rather than simply track their consumption—are required before they can make such a recommendation.
Researchers led by A. Lindsay Frazier of the Dana-Farber/Boston Children\’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center in Boston, analyzed data from 8,205 children born between Jan. 1, 1990 and Dec. 31, 1994 to mothers who had reported their diets at or around the time of pregnancy. Of the children they tracked, 140 had developed a peanut or tree nut allergy by 2009. All self-reported cases of physician-diagnosed nut allergies were reviewed independently by two pediatricians, according to the study.
The prevalence of childhood peanut allergy in the U.S. has become an \”epidemic\” in recent years, Dr. Young said. The rate of 1.4% in 2010 is more than triple the rate of 0.4% in 1997, according to the study. Peanut and tree nut allergies tend to overlap, and such allergies typically become evident with a child\’s first known exposure to peanuts or tree nuts, the study said. It defines tree nuts as walnuts, almonds, pistachios, cashews, pecans, hazelnuts, macadamias and Brazil nuts.
Until recently, the American Academy of Pediatrics had recommended that young children avoid eating peanuts and tree nuts until at least age 3 and cautioned pregnant or nursing women against eating peanuts. In 2008, AAP did away with those guidelines after further studies showed little support for them. The new data support the AAP\’s move to rescind the recommendation, Dr. Young said. The research \”supports the hypothesis that early allergen exposure increases the likelihood of tolerance and thereby lowers the risk of childhood food allergy,\” the study said.
Nuts to you! No, that’s not an insult. It’s a recommendation to add nuts to your diet for the sake of your health and longevity.
Consistent evidence for the health benefits of nuts has been accumulating since the early 1990s. Frequent nut consumption has been linked to a reduced risk of major chronic diseases, including heart and blood vessel disorders and Type 2 diabetes.
The newest and most convincing findings, reported last month in The New England Journal of Medicine, come from the Nurses’ Health Study and the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study, which together have followed nearly 119,000 women and men for decades. Both studies repeatedly recorded what the participants ate (among many other characteristics) and analyzed their diets in relation to the causes of death among the 27,429 people who died since the studies began.
The more often nuts were consumed, the less likely participants were to die of cancer, heart disease and respiratory disease, and not because nut eaters succumbed to other diseases. Their death rate from any cause was lower during the years they were followed. (The nuts in question were pistachios, almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, hazelnuts, macadamias, pecans, pine nuts, peanuts and walnuts.)
Those who ate nuts seven or more times a week were 20 percent less likely to die from 1980 to 2010; even among those who consumed nuts less often than once a week, the death rate was 11 percent lower than for those who did not eat them.
I know what you’re thinking: Aren’t nuts fattening? Yes, an ounce of nuts has 160 to 200 calories, nearly 80 percent from fat.
But in study after study, the more often people ate nuts, the leaner they tended to be.
For example, in a Mediterranean study that tracked the effect of nut consumption on weight gain over the course of 28 months, frequent nut consumers gained less weight than those who never ate nuts, and were 43 percent less likely to become overweight or obese.
How is that possible? First, nuts may be taking the place of other high-calorie snacks, like chips, cookies and candy. And nut eaters may be less likely to snack, period; the fat, fiber and protein in nuts suppresses hunger between meals.
Second, the body may treat calories from nuts differently from those in other high-carbohydrate foods. Third, nut eaters may pursue a healthier lifestyle and burn more calories through exercise.
Whatever the reasons, every study has indicated that nuts make an independent contribution to health and longevity, even after taking other factors into account.
And not just tree nuts. The new study found that peanuts were also linked to a reduced death rate and lower risk of chronic disease. Peanuts are legumes that grow underground, but they share constituents with tree nuts that are believed to protect against a wide range of diseases.
Botanically speaking, nuts are fruits, but most of the nuts we consume are the fruits’ seeds — able to produce a new plant when raw. Like the yolk of an egg, seeds must contain nutrients that support healthy tissues.
Thus, all nuts are powerhouses of biologically active substances, most of which are known to protect and promote health. Penny M. Kris-Etherton, a professor of nutrition at Penn State who has studied the effects of nuts on heart disease, describes them as “complex plant foods that are not only rich sources of unsaturated fat but also contain several nonfat constituents,” including protein, fiber, plant sterols that can lower cholesterol, and micronutrients like copper and magnesium.
Every one of these substances has been shown to ward off one disease or another. The fat content of nuts alone could account for their ability to support heart health. Nuts have less cholesterol-raising saturated fat than olive oil. On average, 62 percent of the fat in nuts is monounsaturated, the kind that supports healthy levels of protective HDL cholesterol and does not raise blood levels of harmful LDL cholesterol.
Nuts contain omega-3 fatty acids that can lower triglycerides and blood pressure, slow the buildup of arterial plaque and prevent abnormal heart rhythms. Walnuts are especially rich sources of alpha-linolenic acid, some of which is converted to heart-protective omega-3 fatty acids.
Most nuts, and especially almonds, are good sources of vitamin E, an antioxidant. Joan Sabaté, a nutritionist at Loma Linda University who hasstudied the health effects of nuts among Seventh-day Adventists, lists folic acid, selenium, magnesium and several phytochemicals among the compounds in nuts that have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory or anticancer properties.
The nurses’ study has linked tree nuts to a reduced risk of pancreatic cancer. A Taiwanese study of about 24,000 people found a 58 percent lower risk of colorectal cancer among women who ate peanuts, although a similar effect was not found among men.
In both the nurses’ and health professionals’ studies, eating nuts more than five times a week was associated with a 25 percent to 30 percent lower riskof needing gallbladder surgery.
Nuts also contain dietary fiber, about a quarter of which is the type that reduces cholesterol and improves blood sugar and weight control. The nurses’ study and a study of about 64,000 women in Shanghai found strong evidence that frequent consumption of tree nuts, peanuts and peanut butter reduced the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.
Peanuts and especially pistachios are rich in resveratrol, which is being investigated for possible anti-aging effects. Pistachios are also rich in arginine, which gives rise to nitric oxide, a substance that improves blood flow and can help counter erectile dysfunction.
Including a serving or two of nuts in your daily diet is not challenging. Dr. Kris-Etherton suggests using peanut butter as the protein source in a sandwich, and replacing a cookie snack with a one-ounce serving of mixed nuts. Nuts can also be added to hot or cold cereals, salads, stir fries and desserts.
Nuts, as Jack on Will & Grace once said, are nothing more than little pellets of fat and breath. Funny, but false. Over the last decade, studies have shown that eating nuts protects against heart disease, high blood pressure, and adult-onset diabetes. Even better, researchers now speculate that, rather than expanding your waistline, eating nuts may help you keep off the pounds. Enjoy these top six picks in your nut mix.
1st Place: Almonds
Per 1-ounce serving:
160 calories 14 g fat
Almonds have nearly nine times more monounsaturated healthy fat than dangerous saturated fat, says Joan Sabaté Ph.D., chair of nutrition at Loma Linda University. With plenty of protein, fiber, calcium, and iron and no cholesterol, almonds are also one of the best sources of vitamin E, which protects against stroke and cancer.
2nd Place: Walnuts
190 calories 18 g fat
Walnuts are unique among nuts because they’re loaded with the same heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids in salmon (but these taste better with chocolate). In more good fat news, walnuts also have an abundance of polyunsaturated fat, which may protect against type 2 diabetes.
3rd Place: Pistachios
160 calories 13 g fat
Recently reported to have the highest level of LDL-lowering plant sterols by researchers at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, pistachios are a great source of potassium. They?re also high in monounsaturated fat, with nearly as much as almonds.
4th Place: Peanuts
170 calories 14 g fat
Research finds that these legumes (they’re not actually nuts) are a good choice for keeping cholesterol levels at bay. These impostors also provide more protein (7 grams per serving) than true nuts do.
5th Place: Hazelnuts
180 calories 17 g fat
Along with one of the highest ratios of good fat to bad, hazelnuts are packed with folate, a vitamin that protects against birth defects and possibly cancer and heart disease.
6th Place: Pecans
200 calories 20 g fat
Dr. Sabaté points to these as a good choice for fighting high cholesterol — they’re high in unsaturated fat and lower in bad saturated fat than other nuts.
Mixes We Like
If you’re feeling ambitious, mix up this Tailgate Party Nut Mix, a recipe featuring dried cranberries for a touch of sweet with the salty.
Easier still: Grab a can of one of our favorites, the Planter’s NUT-rition Men’s Health Recommended mix. It rocks three of the healthy superstars in the list above—almonds, pistachios, and peanuts.
A Nut Nugget
With their high fat content, nuts turn rancid quickly unless stored tightly sealed in a cool, dark place. So buy ’em like you eat ’em (in small amounts), says Jennifer Nelson, director of clinical nutrition at the Mayo Clinic. Proper storage will let you enjoy them for at least 3 weeks.
Read more at Women’s Health: http://www.womenshealthmag.com/nutrition/healthy-nuts#ixzz26qZW1Qzl
If Almonds Bring You Joy, Enjoy More For Fewer Calories
Scientists are starting to discover that the standard way of measuring calories, established more than 100 years ago, may not be terribly accurate when it comes to higher fat, high-fiber foods like nuts. But when it comes to almonds, the count may be off by a whole lot.
Food scientists at the U.S. Department of Agriculture recently published a new study that finds almonds have about 20 percent fewer calories than previously documented.
Put down the snackwells… here’s a great article why.
For a long time, we thought avocadoes were good for nothing but ready-made guac and a decent California burger every now and then. But these little nutritional hand grenades were having an explosive impact on our diets for all that time. How so? They’re infused with a key nutrient for maintaining healthy weight: fat.
Wait…fat can help us maintain our weight? Fat doesn’t make us fat? In a word: exactly.