Study Shows Small Serving of Peanuts Reduces Major Disease and Death Risk

Dec 7, 2016

Just 15-20 grams of nuts per day provides major health benefits

If you’re looking for one simple way to gain major health benefits, peanuts may be the answer. New research1 from Imperial College London School of Public Health shows that consuming a little less than a serving (20 grams) a day of peanuts is an effective way to reduce heart disease and risk of death from other causes.

Published in the journal BMC Medicine, this study demonstrates that daily peanut and nut consumption reduces the risk of several major diseases and causes of death. Coronary heart disease, cardiovascular disease, total cancer, and all-cause mortality were reduced with high nut consumption. In addition, high peanut butter intake was effective in reducing mortality risk.

Twenty population studies were included in this meta-analysis, totaling over 820,000 study participants. Because this analysis included such a large number of participants, researchers were able to examine the impact of nut consumption on less common causes of death, such as respiratory disease, diabetes, and kidney disease.

Researchers found that a high intake of peanuts and other nuts reduced the risk of respiratory disease mortality by 24%, and diabetes mortality risk by 32%. While the results were similar for peanuts and other nuts, only peanuts were effective in reducing the risk of stroke and kidney disease.

These findings have major public health impact. Researchers estimate that in 2013, up to 4.4 million premature deaths in North and South America, Europe, Southeast Asia, and the Western Pacific may have been attributable to peanut and other nut consumption below 20 grams per day. “These findings support dietary recommendations to increase nut consumption to reduce chronic disease risk and mortality,” according to study authors.

With high amounts of bioactives, healthy fats, and more protein than any other nut, this study provides yet another reason to make peanuts a staple in your diet. A small handful of just 20 grams per day, or a little less than a serving, is all that is needed to reap major health benefits.

The Peanut Institute is a non-profit organization that supports nutrition research and educational programs that promote healthier diet patterns and lifestyles.

Aune D, Keum N, Giovannucci EL, et al. Nut consumption and risk of cardiovascular disease, total cancer, all-cause and cause-specific mortality: a systematic review and dose-response meta-analysis of prospective studies. BMC Med 2016;14(207)