Some more nut facts:

  • Walnuts contain a large percentage of polyunsaturated fat and are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids effectively help reduce triglycerides and are linked to a reduced risk of heart disease.
  • Almonds contain calcium, around 80 milligrams in one ounce, and can be a healthful way to boost calcium in the diet.
  • Pine nuts are a good source of iron, containing almost 3 milligrams in a one-ounce serving.
  • The bulk of calories in chestnuts come from carbohydrate instead of fat. Five ounces of water chestnuts contain only 3 grams of total fat, but pack a whopping 350 calories.
  • Peanut butter contains the same heart-protective benefits as whole peanuts however, manufacturers add salt, sugar and sometimes partially hydrogenated fats to enhance flavor and spreadability. Opt for natural peanut butter, which contain fewer to none of these additives.**
  • Unsalted, dry roasted or unprocessed nuts are typically found in the baking isle, produce or bulk food section of the grocery store; salted, oil-roasted nuts in the snack section. To reduce sodium and added fats in the diet, avoid the salted, oil-roasted nuts.

** Note: a strong association between a reduced incidence of coronary heart disease and consumption of peanut butter was not found in the articles referenced. However, peanut butter can be incorporated into a healthful eating pattern and still provides a variety of heart-disease fighting nutrients. Consume in moderation.

Melissa Stevens, MS, RD, LD
Nutrition Program Coordinator
Preventive Cardiology and Rehabilitative Services

For more information on a heart-healthy diet plan, please contact the Preventive Cardiology and Rehabilitation Program at 216.444.9353 (or toll-free at 800.223.2273, extension 49353) and we can schedule a nutrition consultation.

References:

  1. Hu FB, Stampfer MJ, et al. Frequent nut consumption and risk of coronary heart disease in women: prospective cohort study. BMJ 1998;317(14): 1341-1345.
  2. Fraser GE, Sabate J, et al. A possible protective effect of nut consumption on risk of coronary heart disease: the Adventist Health Study. Arch Intern Med. 1992152:1416-1424.
  3. Dreher ML, Maher CV, et al. The traditional and emerging role of nuts in healthful diets. Nutr Rev. 1996;54:241-245.

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