mixed nuts paleo diet
Almond, Hazel and Brazil Nuts

I have just read a most interesting and thought-provoking article on the consumption of nuts and the possible effect of this dietary component on mortality and your longevity. Nuts are, by many, considered to be a superfood; nutrient-rich and especially beneficial for health and well-being.

It begins by asking: “Is this cause or effect?” Is nut consumption itself having a direct impact on health or is it that people who eat nuts are generally more diet aware and thereby health conscious.

Nutritionists will tell you that nuts are a very good source of proteins and calories, and are classified as one of the so-called superfoods. They are part of the Mediterranean diet and paleo diet. The paleo diet is gaining a lot of traction in the metabolic field and has an emerging science base to support it.

I, personally, follow the Wahls Protocol which is a variant of the paleo diet. I have found it to be very beneficial to my MS and it certainly recommends the inclusion of nuts in your diet.

The Barts team includes a nutritionist; Nuria Batlle and she is conducting an audit of MSers to assess constipation and the contribution of diet to their problems.

Diet and Constipation

The article appears to have digressed from the nut theme but constipation problems resonate strongly with me so I was compelled to read further. Constipation is a frequent problem among MSers and often results in hospitalization. She suggests that bowel movements can become difficult if the colon absorbs too much water; the muscles are contracting poorly or slowly so stool movement is slowed exacerbating to fluid loss. My experience would force me to concur. My stools are frequently dry, hard and difficult to pass. Nuria considers diet along with exercise all of which confirms what I already believe.

Do nuts affect your mortality?

Back to nuts; OK yes I am crazy, but we are looking at diet and not at my dementia. I have considered the title of this post, and now think it is misleading. Nuts affecting mortality seems to suggest that, somehow, consuming these foodstuffs may shorten your life, whereas, they are beneficial and are more likely to prolong your life.

So, perhaps, the title of the post should have been “Do nuts affect your longevity?

Conclusion

Nut intake was related to lower overall and cause-specific mortality rates, with evidence for nonlinear dose response relationships. Peanut butter was not related to mortality. I’m off to snack on my cashews and pistachios. Wish me luck! Peanuts, of course, are not nuts; they are legumes.

Visit the BartsMS blog, it contains a wealth of good information on Multiple Sclerosis although much of it is technical and seems to be directed at the clinicians in the MS community.

References

ClinicSpeak: is it nuts that affect mortality?

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