Take Charge

Thinking of Eating Almonds and Cashews? Go Nuts.

March 14, 2018


By Sara Bondell

A bite-size snack may have a big impact when it comes to colon cancer.

A new study from Yale Cancer Center shows colon cancer survivors who regularly eat nuts have a significantly lower risk for cancer recurrence. Those who ate two or more servings per week of tree nuts — such as almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, cashews and pecans — were 46 percent less likely to have the cancer return and had a 57 percent reduction in mortality.

While more research is need, Moffitt registered dietician Erin Gurd agrees eating nuts is good practice for everyone because of their health benefits.

One serving of nuts (about 23 almonds) contains 3.5 grams of fiber and 6 to 7 grams of protein.

“Nuts are a low carbohydrate snack that is rich in protein, fiber and healthy fats,” said Gurd. “They are also known to help reduce your risk of diabetes, and those who consume nuts tend to have a healthier body weight.”

However, Gurd says it’s important to keep an eye on portion size. Nuts are high in calories, so more is not always better.

“The best way to eat nuts is to portion them out instead of eating handfuls out of a container,” said Gurd.”

According to the American Institute for Cancer Research, 47 percent of colon cancers are preventable through diet and lifestyle changes.

Gurd recommends:

  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Eating adequate amounts of fiber (25 grams a day for women and 30 to 38 grams for men)
  • Avoiding processed meat and reducing red meat
  • Eating more colorful fruits and vegetables
  • Staying active (exercise at least 30 minutes per day, five days per week)