Fear not. Nut-eaters are not fatter than people who avoid nuts. Rather, nut–eaters might be healthier. Nuts offer health-protective phytochemicals that reduce inflammation. People who eat nuts and nut-butters (such as peanut butter and almond butter) more than five times a week reduce their risk of heart disease. Consuming 2 ounces (two handfuls) of nuts a day can reduce blood cholesterol by 5%.
The more nuts you eat, the better heart-health response you will get, as long as you stay within your calorie budget. Walnuts are particularly good fro heart-health because they contain ALA, an omega-3 fat. For more information about the health protective properties of nuts, go to www.nutstudies.org.
Here's a tip for how to enjoy more walnuts:
Line a baking sheet with foil. Sprinkle on a layer of walnuts. Drizzle the walnuts with honey or maple syrup. Bake at 325-degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the nuts are smell aromatic and look toasted. Occasionally stir the nuts during that time. Cool, store in an airtight container, and enjoy a handful for snacks or sprinkle them on top of cereal or yogurt.