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Why Are Nuts Considered Healthy Despite Their High Fat Content?

Walnuts are high in omega-3 fatty acids, a healthy type of fat.
Nuts have heart-healthy polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats rather than saturated fat.
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  • Written By: Sheri Cyprus
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 18 July 2014
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Nuts are considered to be a high in fat, yet they are also thought to be extremely healthy as they don't contain any saturated fat. Studies have suggested nuts to be beneficial food in lowering the risk of heart disease and perhaps conditions such as high blood pressure. The fat found in nuts is the healthful polyunsaturated and monounsaturated kind rather than artery-clogging saturated fat and this is why nuts are considered healthy despite their high fat content. The important thing to remember is the portion size. Nuts should be eaten in small amounts of not more than a handful a day.

A handful of nuts may not seem like enough of a snack, but if more food is wanted, the nuts can be eaten with something else such as a portion of fruit. Nuts are considered healthy as a source of plant protein and may be used in main dishes such as stir fries or to top casseroles. Nuts mixed with cubes of whole wheat bread can make a crispy and satisfying topping for a baked casserole dish. A handful of toasted nuts can give crunchy appeal to a salad or chowder. Lightly roasted pecans or walnuts served over unsweetened applesauce can make a nutritious, yet satisfying dessert.

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The fat in nuts is thought to be rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Walnuts are said to be especially high in these important fatty acids, but all nuts are considered healthy because of their protein, fiber, minerals and vitamins. The body needs food sources for omega-3 fatty acids because it cannot produce these necessary acids on its own.

Another reason nuts are considered healthy is that the fat in them is thought to lower the levels of undesirable low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol in the body which can reduce the risk of heart attack-causing blood clots. Some studies have also suggested that eating small amounts of unsalted nuts regularly can help lower blood pressure. Nuts are also a source of Vitamin E, fiber, folic acid and antioxidants as well as minerals such as magnesium, zinc and copper.

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Discuss this Article

anon329796
Post 5

@anon79144: Are you joking? Polyunsaturated and and monounsaturated fats are the good fats! I don't know where you got your info! Saturated fats are the ones to avoid, and especially trans fats!

anon147562
Post 3

but considering they're also rich in omega 3's, I'd be willing to be the fats balance well to not cause inflammatory effects.

anon79144
Post 2

Garbage! Polyunsaturated fats are dangerous. PUFAs oxidize and cause inflammation. Monounsaturated fats are less dangerous and the saturated fats, the villains of this piece, are the healthiest fats in the world.

ivanka
Post 1

Nuts, and it seems that nearly all nut varieties, keep the lining of arteries healthier too. Even though this facts of healthier arteries, prevention of blood clots mentioned in the article, better heart health, are not fully accepted by Food and Drug Administration, just yet, all the evidence points in that direction.

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