BEEN THERE Almonds
DO THIS Walnuts
Almonds are the ideal snack: They're portable, filling, and if you're tired of your old standby, throw some walnuts into the rotation. Though they do contain more fat per 1-ounce serving than almonds (18 grams versus 14), the majority of fat in walnuts is omega-3 fatty acids. "They're one of the few plant-based sources of these healthy fats," says Steven Pratt, M.D., author of SuperFoods Rx: Fourteen Foods That Will Change Your Life. Most Americans are deficient in omega-3s, which help protect against depression, Alzheimer's, and heart disease. In act, in 2004 the FDA allowed advertising stating that these nuts may reduce the risk of heart disease. "Walnuts are also high in sterols, plant compounds that inhibit the absorption of cholesterol," says Pratt. Research shows that eating walnuts regularly can cause LDL ("bad" cholesterol) levels to drop by as much as 16 percent. What's more, a recent study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology found that people who ate about 10 walnuts with a meal high in artery-clogging saturated fat experienced less harmful inflammation in their blood vessels than those who didn’t have the nuts.
SERVING TIP Toasting walnuts brings out their flavor. Place 1 ounce (about 7 nuts) on an ungreased sheet and bake at 350°F for 5 to 10 minutes, or cook in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat for 2 minutes. Chop and toss into pancake or muffin batter, or sprinkle on top of a salad or lowfat yogurt.