Nuts contain a lot of goodness in a small package. They are a good source of unsaturated fatty acids (the good fat) in the form of both monounsaturated fat and polyunsaturated fat (omega-6 and omega-3). They are easy to store, provide lots of fiber, protein, and nutrients and can easily be eaten on the go – this makes them an easy alternative to unhealthy snacks. They might be one of the reasons why the Mediterranean diet is so healthy.
Just be careful not to eat too many because they are high in calories and many of us like the salted varieties – and salt is also better in small quantities. And of course, some people are allergic to certain types. The evidence on whether nuts are good for your heart is yet to be fully clarified. However, there is evidence that specific nuts can have a beneficial effect on your heart, your blood sugar, and many other chronic diseases.
Almonds, for example, can lower your bad cholesterol level (LDL) while also working to help you reduce your weight, which is always a good thing. They are high in protein and fiber and contain vitamin E, calcium, copper, and magnesium. Eating pistachios will help lower your blood pressure when you’re under stress, while also helping reduce your LDL level. Walnuts are noted for their high levels of good fats, increasing HDL (good cholesterol) and lowering LDL.
Peanuts, (which are actually a type of bean) are often considered to be less healthy than tree nuts, but actually, do offer many of the same benefits. Various studies have shown a good impact on heart problems and Type 2 diabetes. However, eating too many of them can hit your waistline worse than tree nuts might, and of course, most of our peanut snacks are salted, so be careful. All other nuts have similar general health benefits, so don’t limit yourself to the ones listed above.