Go Nuts -- New Research Shows It's Good for You
(ARA) - "If you're among the many people who love to munch on nuts, but who gave them up because of health concerns, here's good news: recent research shows that nuts, in moderation, are actually a boon to your heart."
"Nuts used to be something people felt guilty about eating because they're high in fat," says nutritionist Gigi Acker, MPH, RD, of NutritionInsights in Los Altos, Calif. "But not all fat is bad. Healthy monounsaturated fats, like those found in nuts, actually reduce the risk of heart attack."
The recent Nurses Health Study found that nurses who ate nuts five times a week had less heart disease and on average were thinner compared with those who did not eat nuts. And a study published in the April 2002 Journal of Nutrition had people replace half the fat in their daily diets with almonds for six weeks. Researchers found that the almond eaters' LDL (bad) cholesterol went down 6 percent, and HDL (good) cholesterol went up 6 percent. In addition, their triglycerides (blood fat) dropped 14 percent. These studies and others indicate it's the combination in nuts of monounsaturated fats and protective plant compounds known as flavonoids that reduces the risk of heart disease.
In addition to their heart-healthy benefits, nuts make a great snack because they provide protein, fiber and fat. That combination makes them satisfying -- they fill you up and have staying power, notes Acker. Mojo Bars, a new savory snack option, incorporate the advantages of nuts. Available in five different flavors, each bar contains a half ounce of nuts. "When the snack urge hits, Mojo Bars are a great choice," says Acker.
She recommends enjoying an ounce of nuts (1/8 of a cup) every day. But, she cautions, you can't simply add nuts to your daily diet. Instead, you should substitute nuts for less healthy fat from chips, cookies, crackers and cheese. In addition to simply eating them out of hand, there are many flavorful ways to include nuts in your diet. Here are some of Acker's favorites:
So go ahead and make nuts a part of your healthy eating plan, along with fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains. And don't forget moderate amounts of exercise as part of that package as well.
For more information on Mojo Bars, visit www.clifmojo.com. You can find Mojo Bars in natural food stores, outdoor stores and selected grocery stores.
Courtesy of ARA Content.
EDITOR'S NOTE: For more information, call Dean Mayer, communications manager, Clif Bar Inc., (510) 558-7855, Ext. 130 or Gigi Acker, NutritionInsights, (650) 303-8199.
Mojo Bar is a savory natural snack bar made for people on the move. It's for anyone who craves flavors found in snacks like potato chips, but wants a healthier alternative. Filled with whole nuts, pretzel pieces, and other tasty morsels, a Mojo Bar is perfect as an afternoon snack at the office or a satisfying munch while on a hike. Mojo Bar comes in five flavors: Honey Roasted Peanut, Mixed Nuts, Honey BBQ Almond, Curry Cashew and Spicy Salsa Peanut.
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