The “junk food” that lowers deadly inflammation

As a diehard defender of dietary fat, studies like the one I want to share with you today are absolute music to my ears. Especially when you consider the fact that, not so long ago, nuts were considered “junk food.” And so-called health “experts” recommended eating them sparingly, if at all.

How the tables have turned. And it’s about time, too.

Researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital recently analyzed data from more than 5,000 participants of the famous Nurses’ Health and Health Professionals Follow-Up studies. The goal was to see whether nut consumption had any influence on several key inflammation biomarkers — namely, C-reactive protein (CRP), interleukin 6 (IL-6) and tumor necrosis factor receptor 2 (TNFR2).

And even after adjusting for factors like age and medical history, results showed that eating five or more servings of nuts every week was linked with significantly lower levels of both CRP and IL-6.

The researchers think that this association explains their previous findings, which link nut consumption with lower risk of chronic disease and death. And seeing as how inflammation is essentially the root cause of all disease — from heart disease to diabetes to cancer — I have to agree.

But of course, no mainstream nutritional research would be complete without at least one off-the-wall conclusion. And this study proved to be no exception.

Specifically, the researchers noted that swapping out red meat, processed meat, eggs, or refined grains for nuts at least three times per week also lowered levels of CRP and IL-6. Why on earth they would decide to lump meat and eggs together with refined grains is completely beyond me.

If scientists can’t even bother to make the distinction between an egg — which is packed with healthy fats and vitamins — and a donut, well…

Just goes to show you that some old habits really do die hard.