Go Nuts for Your Health

Nuts are a delicious, filling snack that we simply love. But did you know that nuts can also promote heart health? According to an article by the experts at MayoClinic.com, nuts are chock-full of unsaturated fatty acids, which have been shown to lower bad cholesterol levels. Keeping those cholesterol levels low is key for preventing heart disease.

All nuts supply fantastic nutrients, vitamins and fats, but some contain more heart-healthy fats and nutrients than others. Walnuts, for example, have been shown by researchers to lower cholesterol, reduce inflammation and improve arterial function. They’re loaded with essential omega-3 fatty acids that are key for heart health. Try sprinkling walnuts on a salad, adding them to oatmeal or even eating them by the handful for a quick snack!

Almonds are another wonderful choice for those who are trying to improve their heart health. Almonds are the leading source of monounsaturated fat among America’s most consumed nuts. In fact, of the 14 grams of total fat found in one ounce of almonds, about 64 percent of that fat is monounsaturated. That’s wonderful news for those who are working to lower their cholesterol! We love almonds because they’re easy to take on the go. Just load up a small container with 1 oz. of almonds.

Macadamia nuts are deliciously sweet, crisp nuts that are simply amazing in baked goods and granola. They contain potent antioxidants called flavenoids and tocopherols that can help protect against cancer and heart disease. Macadamia nuts are also loaded with monounsaturated fatty acids and contain omega-3s.

Hazelnuts contain nearly 91 percent monounsaturated fat and less than 4 percent saturated fat, which makes them ideal for promoting heart health. They’re also incredible nutrient-dense, with protein, fiber, iron, phosphorus, vitamins B1, B2, C, and E, folate and many other essential nutrients.

Rich, delicious cashews are wonderful when included in a healthy diet. It’s estimated that 75 percent of the unsaturated fatty acid in cashews is oleic acid, which is the same mono-unsaturated fat found in olive oil. Various studies have shown that oleic acid promotes cardiovascular health, even with diabetics. Furthermore, studies show that the monounsaturated fat in cashews, when added to a low-fat diet, can help to reduce high triglyceride levels and lower risk of heart disease.

What are some of your favorite nuts to eat for heart health?

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