Go ‘Nuts’ During National Snack Month

February is Heart Month — but it’s also National Snack Month. And one munchie that doctors and dieticians can agree upon for between-meal snacking: nuts. Check out the reasons below.
If you think snacking and a healthy diet can’t coexist, think again. Research indicates that nuts can be a healthy snack alternative and may even help us live longer. And what better way to recognize National Snack Month than choosing to eat nuts in February.

According to an interview with the lead author of a study in the New England Journal of Medicine, an association has been found between consuming nuts every day and reducing your risk of dying from cancer, heart disease and other major chronic illnesses.

These experts came to this conclusion after “crunching” data (see what we did there?) from nearly 120,000 people collected over 30 years.

Another study followed more than 86,000 nurses for 14 years:

Those who ate five ounces or more of nuts per week reduced their risk of dying from heart disease by 35 percent.

Researchers noted further that the nut-eaters tended to weigh less than those who did not consume nuts.

Nuts are high in dietary fiber and are one of the best plant sources of protein. Additionally, nuts contain many heart-healthy substances including fiber, Omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin E and L-arginine, that can have the following effects:
  • Lower the LDL, i.e., low-density lipoprotein or “bad” cholesterol level in the blood. High LDL is one of the primary causes of heart disease.
  • Reduce your risk of developing blood clots that can cause a fatal heart attack.
  • Strengthen the lining of your arteries.

Don’t Go ‘Too Nuts': Moderation is Best

If you’re wondering about the calorie and fat content in nuts, take pause.

Experts recommend limiting nuts to about a one-ounce serving per day, containing between 160 and 200 calories, most of which come from heart-healthy monounsaturated fat.

Consider substituting nuts for other less healthy foods or sprinkle them on foods you already enjoy, such as yogurt, salads, cereal and fruit.

What’s not to love? They are a nutritious, affordable and tasty snack choice. So go nuts — during National Snack Month, and every month!



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