Advertisement

Go Nuts (Healthy Nuts, That Is)

Go Nuts (Healthy Nuts, That Is)

Making a heart-smart grocery list filled with heart-healthy snacks? Add a bag of peanuts.

Saving your own life doesn't get much easier than this: Eat a handful of healthy nuts twice a week, such as almonds, walnuts, or Brazil nuts. Men who do this slash their risk of suddenly dying from a heart attack by almost half. Why? It's all about the good fats.

What makes nuts such heart-healthy snacks? Monounsaturated fats -- those good-for-you fats that lower bad LDL cholesterol and increase good HDL, which helps keep your arteries clean and clog-free. Nuts are full of good fats, as are olive oil, canola oil, avocados, and flaxseed. In a study, men who nibbled on healthy nuts at least twice a week had a 46% lower chance of dying from an out-of-the-blue heart attack than men who rarely or never ate nuts.

The only caveat: Nuts are high in calories -- although other studies have found that, thanks to a happy quirk of digestive chemistry, the body doesn't absorb all the calories in healthy nuts. Still, if weight loss is a goal, substitute nuts for other snacks rather than just adding them to your daily diet. A little goes a long way: It only takes a small handful, the rough equivalent of a 1-ounce serving, to protect your ticker.

The Brainy Benefits of Fish
The Brainy Benefits of Fish
When we saw the headline Fish Consumption Linked to College Education, we thought something sounded, well, a little fishy. Let’s face it; it takes mor...
Read More
What role do nuts play in a healthy diet?
Garrett Shepherd , NASM Elite TrainerGarrett Shepherd , NASM Elite Trainer
Nuts can be a healthy snack, just make sure they are not covered in sugar, honey roasted or highly s...
More Answers
5 Top Foods for Your Heart, Plus 1 to Avoid
5 Top Foods for Your Heart, Plus 1 to Avoid5 Top Foods for Your Heart, Plus 1 to Avoid5 Top Foods for Your Heart, Plus 1 to Avoid5 Top Foods for Your Heart, Plus 1 to Avoid
What's best to eat for your ticker? A heart doctor weighs in.
Start Slideshow
How Accurate Is Healthy-Menu Info?
How Accurate Is Healthy-Menu Info?