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Surprise! Nuts Fight Heart Attacks & Cancer

 

When nuts show up on the coffee table, reactions are often mixed. Most of us love them, but we also tend to think of them as glorified potato chips, full of fats and calories.

But after reading a new nut blog in the NY Times I have had to rethink nuts. The blog outlined two huge research studies that found the more nuts consumed the less the likelihood of dying of cancer or heart disease.

It turns out nuts are tiny power supplies of healthy fats, vitamins and minerals.

Health.com agrees saying walnuts are the best heart choice and peanuts are perfect brain food. But any raw, plain nut will supply a solid dose of healthy fats and nutrients that should be welcome in your diet.

Another Spanish study showed nuts working much like olive oil to reduce inflammation and oxidation in the arteries after eating a healthy meal.

Researchers also say nut eaters often weigh less than nut avoiders, and have smaller waistlines.

The explanation may be that nuts have enough healthy high fat and protein to keep dieters satisfied longer, reducing their calorie intake.

So, considering all of the reports, that traditional lunch bag peanut butter and jelly sandwich was actually a pretty good choice.

Enjoy the taste and array of nuts.

Where you want to take this health news is wide open with all of the tempting bins of nuts in the market and sleek nut butters on the shelf. But almonds, walnuts, pecans, pistachios and peanuts are definitely worth doing. Almonds are the lowest calorie choice at 160 calories per ounce.

One caution - avoid nuts packaged or roasted in oil. Eat them raw or dry roasted. Oil roasted nuts usually use unhealthy hydrogenated or omega-6 fats and no longer contain nutrients because of high temp roasting.

Here’s a way to make Easy Fruit Nut Bars.

Epicurious.com recipe: Ingredients: vegetable oil spray, 3 cups puffed healthy whole grain cereal, half cup walnuts chopped, quarter cup chopped pitted dates, quarter cup tart cherries, quarter cup raisins, third cup creamy peanut butter, quarter cup honey and quarter cup light corn syrup. (Other dried fruits such as apricots or cranberries could be substituted.)

Mix cereal, walnuts, dates, cherries and raisins. Blend peanut butter, honey and corn syrup and bring to boil in heavy saucepan, whisking until mixture bubbles and thickens.

Pour mixture over cereal, blend and pour into 9 inch square metal baking pan sprayed with nonstick spray. Bake at 350 degrees about ten minutes. Cool and cut into bars.

One bar is 127 calories with 4 grams of total fat, 1 gram of saturated fat and 0 cholesterol. That’s a lot of treat power for very few  calories. Enjoy!

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