Should You Go Nuts?

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Contributed by Prince William Cardiology Associates

By Amanda MacMillan

Nuts are nature’s way of showing us that good things come in small pack- ages. These bite-size nutritional powerhouses are packed with heart- healthy fats, protein, vitamins, and minerals.

Here’s a look at the pros and cons of dif- ferent nuts, as well as the best and worst products on supermarket shelves today. Of course, you can get too much of these good things: Nuts are high in fat and calories, so while a handful can hold you over until dinner, a few more handfuls can ruin your appetite altogether. And although nuts are a healthy choice by themselves, they’ll quickly become detrimental to any diet when paired with sugary or salty toppings or mixes.

Avocados and Good Fats

The avocado is virtually the only fruit that has monounsaturated fat.

According to the American Heart Association, good fats are those that can lower bad cholesterol levels and are beneficial when consumed in moderation. Avocados contribute good fats to one’s diet, providing 3 grams monounsaturated fat and 0.5 poly- unsaturated grams fat per 1-oz. serving.

Avocados are cholesterol-free and sodium-free, and more than 50 percent of the fruit’s fat content comes from monounsaturated fats.

Spread on nutrition with avocados

Want to reduce your cholesterol intake? Try fresh avocado on sand- wiches and toast or substitute as a spread in place of many other popular foods to reduce your intake of cholesterol, calories, fat, saturated fat, and sodium.

Looking for a twist on spreads and dips? A one-ounce serving of fresh avocados contains 0 mg of cholesterol, 0 mg of sodium, 0.5 g saturated fat.

See the chart below for examples of how fresh avocados are a great substitute on sandwiches, toast or substituted as a spread in place of many other popular foods.

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