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Second Opinion: Is Going Nutty Good for You?

1 minute read
Janice M. Horowitz

They may be greasy and fattening, but nuts are also good for you. According to a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association, nuts in all forms, including peanut butter, reduce the risk of adult-onset diabetes. After analyzing the munching habits of more than 83,000 nurses for up to 16 years, researchers found that women who consumed 5 oz. of nuts each week (about five handfuls) were 30% less likely to develop diabetes than women who rarely touched them. Five tablespoons of peanut butter reduced the risk 20%. What’s the secret? It’s fat–but the good kind. Nuts contain polyunsaturated fats that researchers suspect may help keep blood-sugar levels stable. The high levels of fiber and magnesium in nuts may have a similar effect. “Just about everything in nuts is healthy,” says Frank Hu, the study’s leader and a nutrition professor at the Harvard School of Public Health. To get the most benefit, it’s best to use nuts as a substitute for high-carb snack foods such as potato chips and pretzels. But because nuts weigh in at an average of 150 calories an ounce, you shouldn’t go overboard. –By Janice M. Horowitz

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