A recent study in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology positively links regular consumption of walnuts, tree nuts, and and peanuts with lowered risk of developing cardiovascular disease or coronary heart disease. While this study explains the health benefits of nuts, you may be wondering exactly how much you should be consuming. (Can I eat all of the nuts?!) We asked our Chief Nutrition Officer, Dr. Lisa Davis, PhD, P-AC, CNS, for her input.
"There is solid evidence that nuts reduce blood lipid levels and the risk of heart disease, which is why nuts like almonds and walnuts can be considered heart healthy. This may sound counterintuitive because nuts are high in fat, but because nuts contain heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, they are protective,” Dr. Davis shares. “Nuts like walnuts and almonds also contain omega-3 polyunsaturated fats that are also known reduce levels of bad cholesterol and protect against heart disease, high blood pressure and stroke.”
Does that mean we can eat as many nuts as we want? Not so fast. Dr. Davis notes that about ¼ cup of almonds (or 75 grams) daily has been shown to lower LDL (bad) cholesterol. Keep them lightly salted or no salt at all.
Bonus: They’re also a source of plant-based polyphenols -- or antioxidants -- with heart-protective effects. Peanuts, in particular, contain resveratrol (yep, the same antioxidant in red wine!), which is linked to lower rates of heart disease and greater longevity.
Consider swapping a daily snack for a handful of nuts. Our menu offers a variety of healthy meal options that include nuts and other health-healthy ingredients.