Not only do nuts add flavor to most anything you cook, medical researchers say they could add years to your life! Nuts contain a lot of healthy, unsaturated fats and can be used as a substitute for saturated fats (meat, eggs & dairy), to maintain a heart-healthy diet. According to Dr. Gary Fraser of the Center for Health Research at Loma Linda University, people who eat 1 to 2 ounces of nuts more than four times a week, can have up to a 50% lower risk of heart attacks when compared to people who seldom eat them.
A few heart-healthy nuts include almonds, walnuts and pistachios. Almonds are high in vitamin E, fiber and potassium and can help reduce triglyceride (a type of fat) levels in the blood. Reducing triglyceride levels is key to a healthy heart.
Walnuts are a great source of antioxidants in the form of polyphenols. They have been shown to provide a sense of being full without an adverse effect on the body’s insulin levels. Walnuts may help improve blood flow for individuals who are at high risk for diabetes.
One of the most popular nuts is the pistachio. It is high in protein, low in fat and can be helpful with weight-loss efforts. The pistachio nut contains oleic acid, which can curb hunger and make you feel full. They are low in cholesterol and high in fiber, both of which are essential for a heart-healthy diet.
Looking for your favorite nut with the lowest fat content? That would be pistachios, coming in with just 12.7 grams of fat per 1 ounce (28.4 grams) serving, compared to the highest fat content, which is found in the macadamia nut with 21.6 grams of fat per 1 ounce serving.
Here’s how some of the others measure up:
Almonds, raw – 14 grams
Brazil nuts, raw – 19 grams
Cashews, dry roasted – 13.1 grams
Hazelnuts (filberts), raw – 17 grams
Peanuts, dry roasted – 14 g
Walnuts, halved – 18.5 g
Pecans, dry roasted – 21 g