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Why are nuts a healthy food?

Nuts are an excellent source of proteins and healthful fats.

Healthful fats are unsaturated. There are two kinds of unsaturated fats: polyunsaturated and monounsaturated.
Monosaturated fats raise your good cholesterol. Luckily, good cholesterol is much stronger than bad cholesterol. So, when you eat foods that are high in monosaturated fats, such as nuts, your good cholesterol takes charge and escorts your bad cholesterol to your liver, where it is filtered out of your body.
Marisa Moore
Nutrition & Dietetics
For years, people feared nuts because of their high fat content but as it turns out the fat is what makes them nutrition rock stars.

Nuts like almonds, walnuts, pecans and pistachios are packed with heart-healthy unsaturated fats that have been shown to improve cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease. There's also evidence that incorporating nuts into the diet can help with weight management and even blood sugar control in people with diabetes. 

All nuts provide protein and a dose of heart-healthy fats but the different types of nuts offer additional benefits all on their own. For example, almonds are a source of calcium and walnuts are a vegetarian source of omega 3 fats. All are also high calories. So, it's important not to overdo it -- an ounce a day is plenty.
Toby Smithson
Nutrition & Dietetics

Nuts are considered a healthy food choice because they contain heart healthy fats and fiber. They are a great tasting snack that will keep your weight, blood sugar and cholesterol in check. And keep you satisfied not feeling hungry. One point of caution is to monitor your portion size of any of the nuts as the calories can add up quickly. A suggestion to keep control of your consumption is to choose nuts in the shell like peanuts and pistachios; you can monitor your intake by observing how many empty shells are sitting in front of you.

Nuts are an ideal superfood because they contain tons of protein and healthy fat for brain functioning, and they also help prevent inflammation. Watch integrative medicine expert Tasneem Bhatia, MD, explain why you should include nuts in your diet.


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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.