Researchers who conducted the study state that eating even a “modest” portion of nuts on a weekly basis is associated with building much stronger defenses, which in turn could protect human body against metabolic syndrome later in life.
Metabolic syndrome is known for triggering type 2 diabetes and early heart disease.
Participants in the study who ate nuts in moderation three times each week consistently had a much lower risk of metabolic syndrome compared to those who did not eat nuts at all. Unfortunately, scientists said, the findings influence only few people as only one in four teenagers eat nuts.
“The surprising finding is that, in spite of what we know about their health benefits, the majority of teens eat no nuts at all on a typical day,” wrote Dr. Roy Kim, the study’s lead author and an assistant pediatric professor with the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.
In previous studies metabolic syndrome showed to affect about 10% of teenagers, and is diagnosed when a person over the age of 10 had high blood pressure, high blood sugar, low levels of good HDL cholesterol, and high levels of bad LDL, together with high triglycerides and abdominal obesity. Additional conditions linked to individuals with such characteristics include early heart disease and diabetes risk.
In the latest study, data showed that metabolic syndrome risk decreased for each gram of nuts the teenager consumer up to a maximum beneficial ceiling of 50g each day. It would take about two nuts each day to reach this level of consumption, but most of teens simply do not eat nuts.