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Old 05-20-2006, 09:51 PM
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Default shell out for nuts Protect against heart disease, high blood pressure and lose weight

Nuts, as Jack on Will & Grace once said, are nothing more than little pellets of fat and breath. Funny, but false. Over the*last decade, studies have shown that eating nuts protects against heart disease, high blood pressure, and adult-onset diabetes. Even better, researchers now speculate that,*rather than expanding your waistline, eating nuts may help you keep off the pounds. Enjoy these top six picks in your nut mix.
1st Place: Almonds
Per 1-ounce serving:
160 calories 14 g fat
Almonds have nearly nine times more healthy monounsaturated fat than dangerous saturated fat, says Joan Sabaté Ph.D., chair of nutrition at Loma Linda University. With plenty of protein, fiber, calcium, and iron and no cholesterol, almonds are also one of the best sources of vitamin E, which protects against stroke and cancer.
2nd Place: Walnuts
190 calories 18 g fat
Walnuts are unique among nuts because they're loaded with the same heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids in salmon (but these taste better with chocolate). In more good fat news, walnuts also have an abundance of polyunsaturated fat, which may protect against type 2 diabetes.
3rd Place: Pistachios
160 calories 13 g fat
Recently reported to have the highest level of LDL-lowering plant sterols by researchers at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, pistachios are a great source of potassium. They’re also high in monounsaturated fat, with nearly as much as almonds.
4th Place: Peanuts
170 calories 14 g fat
Research finds that these legumes (they're not actually nuts) are a good choice for keeping cholesterol levels at bay. These impostors also provide more protein (7 grams per serving) than true nuts do.
5th Palce: Hazelnuts
180 calories 17 g fat
Along with one of the highest ratios of good fat to bad, hazelnuts are packed with folate, a vitamin that protects against birth defects and possibly cancer and heart disease.
6th Place: Pecans
200 calories 20 g fat
Dr. Sabaté points to these as a good choice for fighting high cholesterol — hey're high in unsaturated fat and lower in bad saturated fat than other nuts.

A Nut Nugget
With their high fat content, nuts turn rancid quickly unless stored tightly sealed in a cool, dark place. So buy 'em like you eat 'em (in small amounts), says Jennifer Nelson, director of clinical nutrition at the Mayo Clinic. Proper storage will let you enjoy them for at least 3 weeks.
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