[NAFEX] Good news for nut nuts
qazingulaza at gmail.com
Fri Feb 19 10:36:26 EST 2010
Once a diet no-no, nuts are in again
High in fat and calories, nuts were a dieting no-no during the low-fat
era. Now these nutrient-packed powerhouses are making a comeback as a
top heart-healthy snack.
And what's not to love? They taste delicious, are naturally low in
sodium, contain no trans fats or cholesterol, and are a good source of
fiber and protein -- the perfect combo for a hunger-quenching nibble.
A low-sugar content also makes them a healthy choice for diabetics,
who are at greater risk for developing heart disease.
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Nuts are rich in good fats like omega-6 fatty acids (walnuts are also
rich in heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids) and monounsaturated fatty
acids, both of which have been found to improve cardiovascular health
by lowering LDL or bad cholesterol. (And don't be afraid of the 'F'
word -- a recent Spanish study found participants who ate nuts at
least twice a week were more than 30 percent less likely to gain
weight than those who almost never ate nuts.)
Besides healthy fats, nuts (especially walnuts, pecans, and chestnuts,
according to one Norwegian study ) are loaded with powerful
antioxidants, which may contribute to their cardio-protective effects
by slowing the development of atherosclerosis.
They are also full of essential B vitamins and minerals, including
magnesium, calcium, and potassium, which are all important for
regulating blood pressure and have been associated with a lower risk
of stroke. Selenium and vitamin E, which function together as a potent
antioxidant, are both found in nuts, especially Brazil nuts and
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