Looking for ways to make your diet healthier – have some nuts. There are a wide variety to choose from that contain monounsaturated fat, vitamin E, folic acid, magnesium, copper, protein, and fiber, and are rich in antioxidant phytochemicals.
Daily consumption of just 1/3 cup of nuts, any type, lowers total cholesterol, LDL “bad” cholesterol and triglycerides. The Nurses Health Study, which followed 86,016 nurses for 14 years, found those who ate 5 ounces or more of nuts per week reduced their risk of dying from heart disease by 35%.
The fat and fiber in nuts makes them a satisfying snack. However, too much of a good thing can be bad – especially if you’re watching your weight. Nuts are nutrient and calorie dense. A one-ounce serving of nuts contains between 160 and 200 calories. Try portioning your nuts in small bags for a great snack on the go.
Here are more simple ways to add nuts without overdoing it:
- Add nuts to your salads or pasta
- Top hot or cold cereal with nuts for breakfast.
- Sprinkle nuts on top of yogurt.
- Add nuts to bread, pancakes, waffles, or muffins
- No matter how you use them, nuts are a nutritious and delicious part of a healthy diet.Karen Ratcliff, MA, RD