Looking for a healthy snack? You can’t go wrong with nuts, nutrient-dense plant foods that are associated with a reduced incidence of coronary heart disease.
Nuts are rich in ‘good’ polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats which lower LDL (bad) cholesterol and help improve heart health. Studies have found that nuts can also decrease inflammation linked to heart disease.
Good sources of protein, fibre, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, nuts are also associated with a reduced incidence of gallstones and diabetes and have been found to have beneficial effects on hypertension and cancer.
However, since nuts are high in calories, it’s important to consume them in moderation, says Singapore’s Health Hub which recommends that Singaporeans consume a “handful of nuts or a cup (40 g) a few times a week as part of a well-balanced diet”.
The American Heart Association advises that you eat about four servings of nuts a week as part of a heart-healthy diet. One serving is 1.5 ounces (42.5 g) of whole nuts.
To derive maximum health benefits from nuts, consume them raw or dry-roasted and unsalted. Do remember to store nuts in the refrigerator to prevent spoiling.
(Source: International Tree Nut Council)