Nuts for You

Thomas L. Petty, M.D.

Professor of Medicine, 
University of Colorado

Chairman, National Lung Health Education Program (NLHEP)


National Lung Health Education Program
A collaborative project with



HealthOne Center
1850 High Street
Denver, CO 80218
Phone: 303 839 6755
Fax: 303 832 8137

Nuts for You!

December  2002
Second Wind
Lomita, California

     Dear Friends:

     From time to time I have been writing about dietary factors in health. I have written a number of things on vitamins, most frequently chocolate, one of my favorite subjects. Now the topic is nuts.

     Not nuts to you, but nuts FOR you. It turns out that regular eating of all kinds of nuts, i.e., almonds, hazelnuts, pecans, cashews, pistachios, etc., appear to significantly reduce the risk of sudden cardiac death. Why should this be so? Nuts contain high levels of magnesium, Vitamin E, and flavonoids, all of which have been associated with a reduction in life-threatening heart rhythms disservices and coronary artery disease, leading to premature morbidity and mortality. In fact, the risk of sudden death in one study was reduced by 47%. Nuts are also a good source of calories and non-saturated fatty acids, all of which are very good for your nutrition.

     Remember that salted nuts create an unnecessary risk to fluid retention, which should be avoided. You can quickly adjust your palate to non-salted nuts, as I have done over many years. Peanuts, of course, are not nuts but legumes; however, legumes also have some of the dietary advantages of nuts.

     So "it is OK to go nutty" over nuts. It will be good for your heart health and provide a nice supplement to your diet. Chocolate-covered almonds, anyone?

I'll be in touch next month.

Your friend,

       Thomas L. Petty, MD

Last update:
24 December 2002