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ENDO: Encourage Teens to ‘Go Nuts’ for Better Health

Three small handfuls a week lowered risk factors in study, but few children eat enough

MONDAY, March 9, 2015 (HealthDay News) — Eating a modest amount of nuts appears to lower the risk for adolescents of developing conditions that raise the chances of heart disease later in life, new research suggests. The findings were scheduled to be presented at the annual meeting of The Endocrine Society, held from March 5 to 8 in San Diego.

The new study findings stem from an analysis involving 2,233 adolescents who participated in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey between 2003 and 2010.

The research team found that every additional gram of nuts consumed per day led to a drop in metabolic syndrome risk, though the benefit topped out at 50 grams per day. The benefit may be traced back to the unsaturated fat and fiber typically found in nuts. That said, less than 9 percent of adolescents were found to consume the minimum amount of nuts needed to see a benefit.

“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,” lead investigator Roy Kim, M.D., M.P.H., an assistant professor of pediatrics at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and Children’s Health in Dallas, said in a Society news release.

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