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Go Nuts: Crunchy Snacks Cut Heart Disease By 30 Pct

Update Date: Jul 16, 2014 05:10 PM EDT

Snacking on nuts everyday cuts the risk of heart disease by nearly a third, according to a new study.

Researchers found that replacing sugary or fatty snacks with a serving of peanuts, cashews or Brazil nuts cuts people's risk of developing heart conditions by 30 percent. A daily serving of nuts has also been shown to reduce all-cause mortality by 17 percent.

Chinese and American scientists from Hua Zhong University of Science and Technology in Wuhan and Harvard School of Public Health in Boston examined data collected from 18 different studies.

The studies included in the latest research covered more than 12,000 cases of type II diabetes, 15,000 cases of heart disease and 50,000 deaths.

The findings revealed that the risk of heart disease dropped by 28 to 29 percent and the risk of death from any cause dropped by 17 percent for each daily serving of nuts consumed.

However, researchers found no link between diabetes and nut consumption.

"Epidemiologic studies have shown inverse associations between nut consumption and diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and all-cause mortality, but results have not been consistent," researcher wrote in the study.

"Our meta-analysis indicates that nut intake is inversely associated with ischemic heart disease, overall cardiovascular disease, and all-cause mortality but not significantly associated with diabetes and stroke. The inverse association between the consumption of nuts and diabetes was attenuated after adjustment for body mass index. These findings support recommendations to include nuts as part of a healthy dietary pattern for the prevention of chronic diseases," they concluded.

The findings were published online in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

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