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Add Nuts to Protect your Heart

According to the American Heart Association, approximately 83.6 million Americans have cardiovascular disease (CHD). CHD is the number one killer in the U.S but fortunately, a healthy diet is one of the best ways for prevention. General heart health recommendations consists of following a diet high in fiber, low in sodium, rich in fresh fruits and vegetables, with lean protein sources and healthy fats.

Nuts including walnuts, cashews, pistachios, almonds, brazil nuts, and peanuts can provide heart healthy fats, vitamins and minerals to combat CHD. Nut varieties provide important omega-3 fatty acids with up to 7 grams of protein per serving! According to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, frequent nut consumption is associated with lower rates of coronary artery disease. A diet rich in nuts also may improve lipid profiles to increase “good” (HDL) cholesterol (HDL) and lower “bad” (LDL) cholesterol. Keep in mind that despite containing “healthy” fats, fat contributes a concentrated amount of calories per serving. Know the correct serving size of your nut choices and monitor portion control when adding these to your diet.

How to Add Nuts to your diet:

  1.  Sprinkle on a green salad like this winter Kale, Almond, Sweet Potato Salad

  2.  Bake crusted chicken/fish

  3.  Sprinkle toasted varieties over cooked vegetables including whipped sweet potatoes, cauliflower or steamed green beans

  4.  Spread nut butter spreads on banana/apple slices or morning whole-grain toast

  5.  Add to smoothies with this Heart Healthy Smoothie

  1.  Add when baking muffins or baked breads

  2.  Keep in your office desk for an afternoon snack. Try these Granola Sweet Hearts or a packed bag of Omega-3-Granola Crunch to take when on the go.

  3.  Use in better for you sweet-treats. Try these homemade Raw Brownies or Protein packed Cashew Cookies to kick your craving the healthy way!

Portion Control:

  1. If buying in bulk, pre-measure 1 serving into small containers or zip-lock bags.  You can even find Zip-lock bags with lines showing a correct serving size.

  2. Always carry a pre-portioned bag in your car or at your office desk.

  3. If pre-portioning takes too much time, purchase re-made portion controlled bagged nuts. For example, Blue Diamond’s brand has 100-calorie packs, which can be easy to take on the go.

Get the Nutrition on Nut Varieties:

NUTS COMPARED

Nut Variety

Approx # of nuts in 1 serving

Calories (kcal)

Protein (g)

Total Fat (g)

MUFAs (g)

  PUFAs (g)