The New Low-Cholesterol Diet: Nuts
Nuts aren't just for holidays anymore. Key nuts can help you lower cholesterol. Add nuts to your low-cholesterol diet.
Getting Nuts Into Your Diet
Nuts are easy to work into your meal plan. Some nuts traditionally come
still in the shell. But you can buy most of them pre-shelled at a grocery
store. They don't need any preparation. Just eat a handful as a snack or add
them to a trail mix. You don't need very many anyway.
You can also use nuts as a condiment. Sprinkle them on your salad, cereal,
yogurt, fruit, vegetables, or entrees, suggest Keecha Harris, DrPh, RD and Ruth
Frechman, RD, both spokeswomen for the ADA. Use nuts in pasta salads or in hot
However, don't get seduced by anything less than a pure nut. "When
you're choosing nuts, make sure to get them raw and unsalted," Farrell
tells WebMD. Honey-roasted, chocolate covered, and other candied nuts give you
extra calories that you don't need.
How Much Do You Need?
You can get the health benefits of nuts from just a handful a day. About 1
to 1.5 ounces is plenty, experts say. The high protein and fiber in nuts make
them very filling. Make sure you don't overdo it.
"Although nuts have a lot of benefits, they're also high in calories
that can add up fast," says Farrell. Gaining weight is likely to undo any
of the heart-healthy effects of these foods.
The best way to add nuts to your diet is to use them to replace less healthy
fats -- like saturated fats in meats. That way you're gaining the benefits of
nuts without adding more calories.