September 01, 2010
I love to eat all kinds of nuts and yes, nuts are good for you. While it is true that nuts are very high in calories, of which 80 percent comes from fat, nuts are nutrient dense! They contain essential fatty acids, linoleic and linolenic acids, which are essential for good health. The type of fat in nuts is mostly unsaturated fat, especially monounsaturated fat, which does not raise blood cholesterol levels, like saturated fats. Actually, monounsaturated fats do have the benefit of raising the good cholesterol but lowering the bad cholesterol, including triglycerides. According to a review of 25 studies, just eating approximately 2-3 ounces of nuts per day (including peanuts, which are actually legumes) lowers the total cholesterol to help prevent heart attacks. This info is from the Archives of Internal Medicine, May 10, 2010.
Nuts also provide one of the best natural sources of vitamin E, and are rich in protein, dietary fiber, magnesium, copper, phosphorus, potassium, selenium and folate. Amazing!
In addition, to lowering cholesterol, nuts may be helpful in controlling high blood pressure. The DASH diet, to help control blood pressure, recommends 4-5 servings of nuts, seeds and dried beans per week.
If you are keeping track of what you eat, portion sizes and calories, etc., here's an interesting fact - 1/3 cup of nuts is equal to approx. one ounce of meat.
In conclusion, do not shy away from nuts. Like anything else, eat them in moderation. Who knows, because nuts are so filling, you may find your intake of other foods to be less. So go nuts!