April 20, 2009

The Nutty Truth About Nuts


Did You Know ... The number one killer of American women is heart disease. Heart disease is not isolated to men. Women need to be just as careful with their lifestyle to reduce their risk of developing heart disease. This is especially true if you are post-menopausal.

Did You Know ... Eating nuts a few times per week may significantly lower risk for developing heart disease. Eating nuts 5 times per week or more may reduce risk by over 50% when compared to those who don't consume nuts!

What makes nuts so special?
* Usaturated fat-- While the total fat content of nuts is high (48-74% by weight), the type of fat is mostly unsaturated. Importantly, most nuts are rich in oleic acid (a monounsaturated fat).
* Fiber -- Nuts are high in dietary fiber.
*Vitamin E -- Nuts are an excellent source of vitamin E which is known to be beneficial to heart health. In fact, nuts contain more vitamin E than any other food apart from extracted vegetable oils. The best nuts for vitamin E content are almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, and pecans.
* Minerals -- Nuts are a rich source of copper and magnesium. These two minerals have positive effects on the level of blood serum lipids.

Caution --
It should be noted that nuts are still high in fat, thus, calories. If you struggle with weight problems, be sure to substitute nuts for foods you would normally eat. Do not include them in addition to your diet, else, you are very likely to gain weight.

Here's a list of nut serving sizes --
Note: For each serving of nuts, there are 45 calories and 5 grams of fat (the "good" kind!). The serving sizes are not very big!

Type of nuts....................Amount
Almonds...........................6 nuts
Cashews...........................6 nuts
Mixed nuts(50% peanuts)...6 nuts
Peanuts............................10 nuts
Pecans..............................4 halves

If you do not like to eat nuts plain, add them to foods. You can add them to salads, yogurt, vegetable dishes, or try blending them in as part of a milk shake. Enjoy something nutty today!

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Written by: Laura S. Garrett, RD -- Registered Dietitian & ACE Certified Personal Trainer --Keep Laura's advice at your fingertips, wherever you and your cell phone go with"Text ur R.D." -- Learn more at: http://www.NutrActive.com