Nuts and heart health

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1. Overview

Eating fruits that have woody shells is beneficial for heart health. Both nuts, almonds, hazelnuts and other fruit types in this category, help lower cholesterol being part of a healthy balanced diet.

These types of fruits can be eaten at any time of the day, as a snack being very healthy as they contain multiple unsaturated fatty acids and nutrients. The type of fruit with woody shell eaten by a person is not so important. Almost any nuts can be part of a diet that supports heart health.

Most studies have found that nuts and peanuts lower the levels of bad cholesterol, improves health and reduces mucosal blood arteries possibility of developing blood clots that can cause a fatal heart attack.


1. Overview
2. Benefits for heart health
3. What amount of peanuts is considered healthy?
4. Most beneficial nuts
5. Nutritional information
6. Oils obtained from walnuts and peanuts

2. Benefits for heart health

Although the amount varies depending on the type, most fruits with woody shell contain at least one of these substances needed for heart health:

- Unsaturated fats – is not entirely clear why, but it is supposed that good fats from walnuts and peanuts composition, both monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats help lower the bad cholesterol.

- Omega-3 fatty acids – walnuts and peanuts are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, a healthy form of fatty acids that seem to prevent the occurrence of dangerous heart rhythms that can trigger heart attacks. Omega-3 fatty acids are found in many types of fish, but walnuts and peanuts are some of the best sources.

- Fiber – all nuts and peanuts contain fiber that helps lower cholesterol, help installing satiety and plays a role in preventing diabetes.

- Vitamin E – helps to stop the growth of plaque in arteries, which can narrow and can cause chest pain, coronary artery disease or heart attack.

- Plant sterols – some fruit with woody shells contain plant sterols, substances that help lower cholesterol. Manufactured sterols are often added to margarine and orange juice for the benefits they have for health, but they are found naturally in all types of nuts.

- L-arginine – the walnuts and peanuts are a source of l-arginine, a substance that can help improve the health of arteries, making them more flexible and less prone to blood clots that can block the blood flow.

3. What amount of peanuts is considered healthy?

Fruits with woody shells contain much fat; 80% of their content is fat. Even though these are healthy fats, nuts are high in calories, so they should be eaten in moderation.

Ideally they should be used as a substitute for saturated fats such as those found in meat, eggs and dairy products. Instead of eating unhealthy saturated fats you should include nuts in your daily diet.

Will not exceed about 40 grams per day of almonds, peanuts, hazelnuts, pecans, walnuts, etc. They are designed to reduce the risk of developing heart disease only if they are part of a healthy diet.

4. Most beneficial nuts

Most fruits with woody shells appear to be generally healthy, although some are more beneficial than others. Walnuts are one of the fruits that have been studied extensively and found to be rich in high amounts of omega-3.

Almonds, macadamia nuts, hazelnuts and pecans seem to be the healthiest for the heart. Even peanuts (which technically are legumes) appear to be quite healthy. Coconut is a fruit from a technical standpoint, but is not part of the nuts and peanuts. It also does not provide benefits for cardiovascular health. Both core and oil of the coconut do not contain mono and polyunsaturated fats.

Other positive effects that can be obtained from including walnuts and peanuts in the diet include:
- Increase the level of serotonin in the body (substance that gives good general condition);
- Contribute to the fight against metabolic syndrome;
- Helps lower blood sugar levels and high blood pressure.

The positive effects of nuts may be canceled if they are covered with chocolate, sugar or salt.

5. Nutritional information

Type: Almonds, unroasted
Calories: 163
Total fat (saturated / unsaturated): 14 g (1.1 g12.2 g)
Type: Almonds, roasted
Calories: 169
Total fat (saturated / unsaturated): 15 g (1.1 g12.9 g)
Type: Brazil nuts, unroasted
Calories: 186
Total fat (saturated / unsaturated): 19 g (4.3 g12.8 g)
Type: Acajous
Calories: 163
Total fat (saturated / unsaturated): 13.1 g (2.6 g10 g)
Type: Chestnuts, roasted
Calories: 69
Total fat (saturated / unsaturated): 0.6 g (0.1 g0.5 g)
Type: Hazelnuts, unroasted
Calories: 178
Total fat (saturated / unsaturated): 17 g (1.3 g15.2 g)
Type: Hazelnuts (filberts), roasted
Calories: 183
Total fat (saturated / unsaturated): 17.7 g (1.3 g15.6 g)
Type: Macadamia nuts, unroasted
Calories: 204
Total fat (saturated / unsaturated): 21.5 g (3.4 g17.1 g)
Type: Macadamia nuts, roasted
Calories: 204
Total fat (saturated / unsaturated): 21.6 g (3.4 g17.2 g)
Type: Peanuts, unroasted
Calories: 166
Total fat (saturated / unsaturated): 14 g (2g11.4 g)
Type: Pecan nuts, roasted
Calories: 201
Total fat (saturated / unsaturated): 21 g (1.8 g18.3 g)
Type: Pistachio, unroasted
Calories: 161
Total fat (saturated / unsaturated): 12.7 g (1.6 g10.5 g)
Type: Walnut core
Calories: 185
Total fat (saturated / unsaturated): 18.5 g (1.7 g15.9 g)

6. Oils obtained from walnuts and peanuts

Oils obtained from walnuts and peanuts are a good source of omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin E, but not containing fibers that are found in whole fruits. Nutmeg oil has the highest amount of omega-3.

These types of oils contain both saturated and unsaturated fats. They can be used for cooking or added to salads composition. Overheated, nuts and peanut oils may taste bitter. Like nuts, they should be eaten in moderation because they are high in fat and calories.



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