Q: If nuts are high in fat why do I keep hearing they're good for my heart?

Written by Catherine Saxelby on Monday, 23 December 2013.

Q: If nuts are high in fat why do I keep hearing they're good for my heart?

A. Nuts are no longer considered just a salty party nibble like potato crisps and corn chips. Yes  they're high in fat but are nutrient-dense foods that are important in a healthy diet. They have a nutrition profile that is unique with no other food group matching this.

A whole wave of studies over the past 10 years has changed our thinking on nuts. So now a handful of nuts (30 to 50 grams) a day is one of the strategies nutritionists recommend to keep your heart healthy.

Heart-healthy fats

Yes they're high in fat - being over 50 per cent fat, but the fat in nuts is heart-friendly. It's either predominantly mono-unsaturated or polyunsaturated, both of which keep your cholesterol in check.

Nuts also boast a good dose of vitamin E (a well-established antioxidant), lots of fibre and arginine (an amino acid) - all food factors that either lower the 'harmful' LDL-cholesterol or prevent oxygen damaging your arteries.

The best way to consume nuts is lightly roasted but not salted. Toss them through salads and stir-fries or take them to work as an office snack.

Catherine Saxelby

About the Author

Catherine Saxelby has the answers! She is an accredited nutritionist, blogger and award-winning author. Her latest book Nutrition for Life 2020 Edition is a fresh new update on all the things you've read about or heard in the last year. Think insects, collagen, vegan eating, Keto dieting, vitamin B12, fast food and cafe culture.  It has plenty of colour pictures and is easy to dip in and out of. Grab your copy NOW!