Metabolic syndrome is characterized by possessing three out of five risk factors including low levels of “good” cholesterol; high triglycerides; high blood pressure; high blood sugar; and extra weight around the waist.
A research paper published by the Clinical Nutrition and Risk Factor Modification Center of St. Michael’s Hospital found that tree nuts appears to help reduce two of the five markers for metabolic syndrome. Tree nuts include almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, chestnuts, coconuts, hazelnuts, pecans, macadamia nuts, walnuts, pine nuts and pistachios. They do not include peanuts, which are legumes.The FDA has specified that tree nuts can be mentioned as a qualified health claim for cardiovascular disease risk reduction.
The research consisted of a peer review analysis of 40 studies with 2000 participants. The biggest influence on metabolic syndrome was found when tree nuts replaced refined carbohydrates rather than saturated fats.
In the randomized control studies, patients ate about 50 grams of nuts a day or about 1-1/2 servings. One serving of tree nuts is about ¼ cup or 30 grams.
“Fifty grams of nuts can be easily integrated into a diet as a snack or as a substitute for animal fats or refined carbohydrates,” Dr. Sievenpiper the lead researcher said.
Effie Viguiliouk, Cyril W. C. Kendall, Sonia Blanco Mejia, Adrian I. Cozma, Vanessa Ha, Arash Mirrahimi, Viranda H. Jayalath, Livia S. A. Augustin, Laura Chiavaroli, Lawrence A. Leiter, Russell J. de Souza, David J. A. Jenkins, John L. Sievenpiper. Effect of Tree Nuts on Glycemic Control in Diabetes: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Dietary Trials. PLoS ONE, 2014; 9 (7): e103376 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0103376
S. Blanco Mejia, C. W. C. Kendall, E. Viguiliouk, L. S. Augustin, V. Ha, A. I. Cozma, A. Mirrahimi, A. Maroleanu, L. Chiavaroli, L. A. Leiter, R. J. de Souza, D. J. A. Jenkins, J. L. Sievenpiper. Effect of tree nuts on metabolic syndrome criteria: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials. BMJ Open, 2014; 4 (7): e004660 DOI: 10.1136/bmjopen-2013-004660