Adding nuts to a healthy diet may help release people from a dangerous combination of health problems.
Up to 25% of people in the UK are thought to have "metabolic syndrome", which includes obesity and high blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar.
A Mediterranean diet of vegetables, fruit and fish plus daily nuts boosted health in more than one in eight at-risk volunteers, a Spanish study found. The research was published in the Archives of Internal Medicine journal.
The healthy properties of certain kinds of nuts, eaten in moderation, has been noted before. However, the researchers from the University of Rovira i Virgili in Spain, tested more than 1,200 volunteers with metabolic syndrome to see if adding nuts could boost existing healthy diets.
People with metabolic syndrome are at greatly increased risk of cardiovascular disease. The group was split into thirds, the first of which were just given advice on low-fat eating.