Since I often write to you about what makes me nuts, how about today we talk about actual nuts—the edible kind.
You may already know that nuts are one of my favorite foods. And now, research has linked them with a decrease in inflammation, insulin resistance, and damaging oxidative stress. And if that wasn’t enough, new research shows that eating more nuts can cut your risk of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), too…
The more, the merrier
As you may recall, NAFLD is one of the fastest growing epidemics in this country. It’s marked by excessive fat buildup in the liver that isn’t caused by alcoholism or medication use. And it’s now the most common form of chronic liver disease in the world.
In fact, global rates of diagnosed NAFLD have reached as high as 25 percent. And this trend is most certainly contributing to higher rates of diabetes, heart disease, and early death.
But there’s an easy solution. And it’s one that shouldn’t surprise you…
Eat a proper diet—more specifically, one like my A-List Diet, which kicks carbs to the curb. Because do you know where all that liver fat comes from? That’s right—it’s excess “stowaway sugar” that your body couldn’t burn.
But I’m getting ahead of myself here. Today’s discussion is focused on one food in particular that fights fatty liver—and that food is (literally) nuts.
This study didn’t look at individual types of nuts, but it did look at levels of consumption among a huge pool of nearly 24,000 Chinese subjects. And here’s what researchers found: Subjects who ate at least one serving per week were ten percent less likely to have NAFLD.
And the more nuts subjects ate, the lower the risk. In fact, subjects who ate two to three servings weekly had 12 percent lower risk, while those who ate four or more servings weekly enjoyed a 20 percent drop in risk.
On average, subjects who ate the most nuts tended to be women, with lower triglycerides and LDL (“bad” cholesterol), but higher HDL (“good” cholesterol) levels. Interestingly, subjects with NAFLD were older, skewed male, and had higher body mass indexes (BMIs), triglyceride levels, LDL levels, and blood pressure, but lower HDL levels. None of which is surprising at all—and let me explain why…
A bona fide superfood
Nuts are packed with incredible nutrition that makes them a near-perfect foil for fatty liver.
For one thing, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats comprise more than 75 percent of their considerable fat content. (And as I’m always explaining, the only way to burn fat—liver fat included—is by eating more good fat.) Not only that, their alpha linolenic acid content gives a boost to insulin sensitivity, too.
Nuts are also rich sources of bioactive fatty acids—and research shows that these compounds help to regulate liver cells and guard against NAFLD development. Then, of course, there are constituents like fiber, vitamin E, and other polyphenols—which collectively fight free radical formation and slash inflammation, two of the main drivers behind NAFLD.
Last—but certainly not least—research shows that imbalances of the gut microbiome play a key role in NAFLD development. And in case you didn’t know, nuts also happen to be fantastic prebiotics—feeding beneficial microbiota and allowing your microbiome to thrive.
The bottom line? Nuts are a bona fide superfood. So instead of leaving cookies out for Santa tonight, consider leaving a handful of almonds instead.
P.S. I tell you more about the tragedy of NAFLD in the June 2018 issue of my monthly newsletter, Logical Health Alternatives (“The latest on fatty liver disease—America’s most lethal epidemic-in-the-making”). Subscribers have access to this and everything I’ve ever written in the archives. So if you haven’t already, consider signing up today. Click here now!
Zhang S, et al. “Association between nut consumption and non‐alcoholic fatty liver disease in adults.” Liver Int. 2019 Sep;39(9):1732-1741.