Fats in Nuts Help Lower Bad Cholesterol

Oct 21, 2008 Published under Health, KIND Snacks

as confirmed by a new study by the Mayo Clinic

Copyright 2008 San Antonio Express-News
All Rights Reserved

San Antonio Express-News

October 15, 2008 Wednesday


362 words

Fats in nuts help lower bad cholesterol

Bonnie Walker

Even if we’ll pay a little more for our pecans this year, these and other nuts are nourishing power foods, worth extra pennies we might pay to include them in our meals.

Nuts are about 80 percent fat, meaning they have lots of calories. For this reason, one might consider eating them in moderation. But the fat in nuts is considered "good fat."

Though they are not true nuts, peanuts are good for us as well. Peanuts are members of a family of legumes related to peas, lentils, chickpeas and other beans. These begin growing as a ground flower that gains weight, then bends toward the ground. They eventually grow into and under the ground where the legumes then mature.

Studies have found that the unsaturated fats in nuts, including polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, help to lower levels of harmful cholesterol in the blood. Nuts also are a great, plant-based source of omega-3 fatty acids, like the good fatty acids found in salmon and sardines.

"Ideally, you should eat nuts as a substitute for saturated fat," writes Mayo Clinic cardiologist Gerald Gau in "Eating Nuts for Your Health" (www.mayoclinic.com).

Saturated fat comes from sources such as red meats, dairy products and animal fats.

Fiber is another reason to eat nuts, plus the fact that they contain Vitamin E and a substance called arginine, a substance that increases production of nitric oxide in your body, which may help improve health of the artery walls, making them less prone to blood clots, says Gau.

Here, from cardiologist Gau, are more reasons to eat nuts:

* Walnuts are among the best-studied nuts and they contain high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids. But almonds, macadamia nuts, hazelnuts and pecans also appear to be quite heart healthy.

* Instead of eating unhealthy saturated fats, try substituting a handful of nuts. Current dietary guidelines suggest eating 1-2 ounces of nuts (a small handful) a day.

* Nut oils are good sources of omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin E. They contain saturated as well as unsaturated fats. As with nuts, it’s best to use nut oil in moderation to restrict overall calorie and fat intake.

Information from mayoclinic.com and whfoods.com contributed to this report.

October 20, 2008

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  1. Geri said:

    You are so right that nuts are good for your health. You can read this post if you want to learn more about what nutrients they possess http://www.newrinkles.com/index.php/archive/be-nutty-for-good-health/

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