Yes, nuts are high in fat, but it is monounsaturated fat, which is considered the “good” fat. Gaining popularity, nuts are a good source of protein, minerals and other nutrients. Nuts have been shown to help fight heart disease and lower “bad” cholesterol. Nuts have also been shown to help keep weight off.
But don’t overeat, after all nuts are about 80% fat. The general rule is about 2 ounces or a small handful. Try out a variety of nuts to reap all the health benefits they offer. Here are some of the favorites:
Walnuts – Omega-3 fatty acids have been found to protect the heart, create anti-inflammatory benefits which help with asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, eczema and psoriasis – walnuts are a good source. Walnuts also contain antioxidants that known to help fight cancer. Healthy for the heart, walnuts help lower bad cholesterol, increase the elasticity and help clear up the heart’s arteries.
Almonds – My favorite! Almonds contain about 20% of your daily value of magnesium plus potassium, manganese, copper, calcium, vitamin E and selenium. High in fiber, almonds are also great for the colon. And as with walnuts, almonds help to lower cholesterol.
Cashews – Cashews are high in oleic acid, the heart healthy fat found in olive oil. They are also full of copper, magnesium, zinc, and iron.
Pecans – Pecans are chock full of vitamins and minerals including Vitamin E, several B’s and A, folic acid, calcium, magnesium, copper, and potassium.Pecans are also known to help fight heart disease by lowering “bad” cholesterol.
Brazil Nuts – Studies have shown that brazil nuts may help prevent breast cancer due to the high amounts of selenium. They are are also packed with nutrients including copper, niacin, magnesium, and vitamin E. Brazil nuts also contain protein and fiber.
Macadamia Nuts – Another one of my favorites, macadamia nuts contain protein, fiber, potassium and magnesium. They have also been shown to lower cholesterol levels.These nuts are high in protein, fiber, healthy monounsaturated fats, potassium and magnesium.
Nuts make great snacks, are easy to pack and store and are inexpensive. For more information about these great snacks, check out the Mayo Clinic’s article: Nuts and Your Heart.
I eat nuts every day, a small handful as an afternoon snack. My latest cholesterol screening came back with the bad cholesterol levels low. Guess I’m living proof!