Nuts: Good nutrition in a tasty package

Nov. 17, 2009 at 1:56 AM

ROCHESTER, Minn., Nov. 17 (UPI) -- U.S. health experts say nuts -- walnuts, almonds, pistachios -- pack a lot of nutrition into a tasty package.

The experts, writing in the Mayo Clinic Women's HealthSource, say almost any kind of nuts contain nutrients -- such as omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, 1-arginine and plant sterols -- that benefit heart health and help with cholesterol control.

Eating nuts also can reduce the risk of developing blood clots and improve the health of the lining of the arteries. While almost any type of nut is nutritious, the researchers point out most nuts are high in calories so it is best to eat them in moderation -- no more than a handful a day.

For instance, 1 ounce of almonds contains 169 calories and 15 grams of fat and the calorie and fat content for other nuts is similar.

The Mayo Clinic Women's HealthSource experts suggest choosing unsalted or low-salt versions and using nuts as a substitute for saturated fats -- such as those found in meats, eggs and dairy products.

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