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The path to longevity needs to include constant lifestyle efforts aimed at staving off chronic diseases. One of the cornerstones of a longer life is a healthy diet. When it comes to the ideal food for meeting this purpose, Dr Michael Mosley might have cracked the case.

From pine nuts in pesto to pecans in dark chocolate, nuts offer more than a versatile snack suitable for both savoury and sweet dishes.

The small foods of various colours, shapes and sizes, are all packed with unsaturated fats, fibre and protein.

Furthermore, nuts offer strong “antioxidant” and “anti-inflammatory” properties – “all of which are good for you”, according to Dr Mosley.

Speaking on his podcast Just One Thing, the doctor said: “So good; they may even slow the ageing process at the cellular level by preserving our telomeres. 

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“These are the protective caps at the ends of your chromosomes. As we get older, the telomeres gradually shrink. 

“Eventually, does metformin help weight loss they get too short to do their job and our cells can’t function properly. The longer those caps are, the younger your DNA is.

“Several studies have found a link between eating nuts and retaining the length of these telomeres.”

Apart from keeping your telomeres in “good shape”, snacking on nuts can also cut your risk of a whole host of problems, ranging from cancer to heart disease.

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It’s no secret that health conditions like these pose a grave threat to longevity, so staving off these problems represents another way to a longer and healthier life.

What’s more, eating just a “handful” of nuts a day should be enough to do the trick.

Dr Mosley invited Dr Sze-Yen Tan, from Deakin University in Australia, to the podcast to crack why less is more.

Dr Tan said: “So even though we do see a lot of benefits coming from nuts, we don’t recommend people to go nuts about eating nuts. 

“We do want people to maintain the level of about 15 to 30 grams per day.”

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While a handful of nuts should be enough to reap the potent effects, there’s one rule you need to obey.

The podcast guest continued: “The one thing that I can say is that a lot of the beneficial compounds are found on the skin of the nuts. 

“So, when you prepare your nuts – whether it’s in cooking, or baking, or consuming them on its own – make sure that you consume the skin of the nuts together with the nuts, in order to get all the nutrients or the beneficial compounds coming from nuts.”

However, it doesn’t matter if you are a fan of peanuts, pecans, pistachios or almonds.

“There’s no reason to believe that one nut is better than another,” Dr Tan said.

You might have heard the old saying that nuts make you gain fat but research suggests otherwise.

“Many, many studies have repeatedly shown that incorporating [nuts] into the diet doesn’t make you gain weight,” the podcast guest added.

In fact, studies have proven that those with higher intake of nuts tend to have lower body weight.

So, snack away and “your brain, heart, and even your waistline, might thank you for it”, Dr Mosley concluded.

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