Nuts are finally getting the credit they deserve for promoting a healthy heart. In the past, we’ve been told to put down these crunchy eats since most of them are naturally high in fats. The medical consensus today is that dietary fat is actually not bad for you unless you belong to the small group of people who are predisposed to high cholesterol. In fact, the fat they contain can help lower LDL.
Apart from the usual ones like almonds, cashew nuts, walnuts and pistachios, peanuts (technically a legume) and butter made from it is also noted to be good for balancing the LDL/HDL ratio in the blood. But it’s important to banish salted nuts from your pantry. And if your daily meals are already balanced or high in fats, then don’t add nuts to your diet. Substitution is key in this case.
Drop any unhealthy or processed foodstuff you consume on an everyday basis and replace it with nuts instead. Pecan, hazelnut and Macadamia nuts are also good for the heart, even if there aren’t enough studies to back up this claim. In general, nuts are high in fiber, vitamin E and monosaturated fats. The plant sterols in them are thought to prevent the absorption of excess dietary cholesterol.
Do choose peanut butter without added sugar, salt and preservatives. If you can’t buy the same from a store, it’s very simple to prepare at home. Blend 500gm roasted peanuts with a handful of roasted almonds or any other nut you fancy, a tablespoon or less of butter (not margarine unless your doctor has asked you to stick to it) and the tiniest bit of coarse sea salt, until you get a smooth texture.