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Mediterranean diet including nuts may reduce metabolic syndrome

A serving of nuts alongside a traditional Mediterranean diet may help reduce the symptoms of metabolic syndrome in older adults, according to a new study.

The Spanish study found participants who ate a daily serving of mixed nuts alongside a Mediterranean diet – rich in cereals, vegetables, fruits and olive oil and low in dairy, meat and sweets – had fewer symptoms of metabolic syndrome.

Out of 1,224 participants, 61.4 per cent showed symptoms of metabolic syndrome. Participants were randomly assigned to three groups: one was given information about a low-fat diet, while the other two learnt about the Mediterranean diet. One of the Mediterranean groups was given olive oil, the other was given nuts.

Metabolic syndrome symptoms decrease

Symptoms of metabolic syndrome decreased among the nut group by 13.7 per cent, 6.7 per cent in the olive oil group and 2 per cent in the control group.

The authors of the study said: ‘The results of the present study show that a non-energy-restricted traditional Mediterranean diet enriched with nuts, which is high in fat, high in unsaturated fat and palatable, is a useful tool in managing metabolic syndrome.’

Archives of Internal Medicine (2008) 168: 2249-2458

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