How to live longer: The cholesterol-lowering snack that can cut your risk of dying by 20%

Loose Women: Dr Hilary discusses how to live longer

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With life expectancy declining over the recent years and the coronavirus pandemic emergence, many are giving a second look to their lifestyles. Fortunately, there’s growing scientific evidence illustrating the beneficial effects of certain foods on longevity. 

When it comes to risk factors that threaten long lifespans, diseases including cancer and heart disease rank high.

In fact, heart disease is the first leading cause of death worldwide, according to the World Health Organization.

It’s no secret that diet plays a key part in heart health, however, one food might be especially potent.

Research published in The New England Journal of Medicine shares that nuts could make you “less likely” to die of cancer, heart disease and respiratory disease.

Nuts are packed with fibre, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and phytosterols.

The research used data from two different studies to evaluate the link between this heathy snack and mortality.

Looking at more than 118,000 participants, the researchers made sure that participants with a history of cancer, heart disease and stroke were excluded.

The study volunteers answered questions about their diets at the beginning as well as every two to four years.

Dividing participants into six groups based on their nut consumption, the researchers followed these subjects for the period of 30 years.

Overall, the daily nut-eaters were found to have a 20 percent lower risk of dying.

They were also found to be “less likely” to die of cancer, heart disease and respiratory disease.

The study reports that the more often people ate nuts, the lower their risk of premature death was.

On top of their longevity boosting powers, nuts are also proven to lower high cholesterol levels.

If you’re not aware, high cholesterol describes a build-up of a fatty substance called cholesterol in your blood, the NHS explains.

This fatty substance can then hike your risk of heart disease and strokes.

So keeping high levels in check can be crucial and cuts your risk of these serious conditions.

Nuts are rich in unsaturated fats which can help keep your cholesterol levels at bay, Heart UK reports.

They are also high in fibre which “can help block some cholesterol being absorbed into the bloodstream from the gut”.

The charity recommends aiming for a handful of nuts daily, which represents 28 to 30 grams.

From almonds to cashews and from hazelnuts to pecans, snacking on a variety ensures a “good option”.

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