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A breather for nuts in health

There has been lots of talk about the health benefits of nuts but now there is a solid backing. Numerous studies show that nuts pack a nutritional wallop — at least when eaten in moderation.//

Since 2003, the Food and Drug Administration has allowed labels for most nuts to say that there is good evidence they lower the risk of heart disease.

In a new study it has been found that a diet rich in fruits and vegetables along with nuts, avocados and olive oil was more effective at controlling heart risks than a traditional, higher-carbohydrate heart-healthy diet. And a study in mice with Alzheimer's-like symptoms hinted that almonds might be a potent brain booster.

"Nuts are just loaded with nutrients that we don't get enough of in our typical American diets," says Cynthia Sass, spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association (ADA).

"With nuts, you get a lot of bang for your buck. You get protein, you get minerals, you get healthy fat and fiber," says an ADA spokeswoman. Adding: "Nuts also are a fun food. You feel like you're cheating, but you're not." A word of caution though: Nuts are a calorie-dense food and often are paired with ingredients such as salt, butter and sugar.

Some great diet tips could be taking them as a snack. Using them to jazz up other healthy foods.

This time of year, many people also buy nuts in the shell and use a nutcracker to open them. That certainly will slow down consumption, maybe too much, Sass says. "A lot of people just end up with bags of nuts sitting around." So crack the nut and have it too is the buzzword…so cut the nut and have it to!! Happy Nut(ting)


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