Go Nuts (But just a little!)

Updated:Jun 25,2015

various nutsCrunchy nuts are petite powerhouses of taste and nutrition.

They’re portable and delicious; both whole and in nut butter form, spread on apple slices, celery sticks and bananas.

Healthier choices are:

  • almonds
  • hazelnuts
  • peanuts
  • pecans
  • pistachios
  • walnuts

Nuts have:

  • protein
  • fiber
  • vitamins
  • minerals
  • antioxidants
Walnuts are especially high in omega- 3 fatty acids, the same heart-healthy fat found in oily fish, but are a lot easier to stash in your pocket or purse.

The American Heart Association recommends a healthy dietary pattern that includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, legumes, fish, skinless poultry, nuts, and fat-free/low-fat dairy products, and limits sodium, saturated fat, red meat and added sugars.

A serving size is a small handful or 1.5 ounces of whole nuts or 2 tablespoons of nut butter.

In addition to their superior snackability, nuts are fabulous in salads, stir-fries, breads, and stirred into yogurt. Or, try some nut butter in a smoothie! Compare nutrition labels and choose nut butters with the lowest amounts of sodium and sugar.

All nuts will go bad (rancid) in time so keep them in the fridge. The same goes for nut oils and nut butters in jars after you’ve opened them. Rancid nuts have an unpleasant smell and bitter taste. If you’re using nuts in a recipe, taste one to make sure it’s still fresh or you could ruin the whole dish.


Article copyright © 2015 American Heart Association. This recipe is brought to you by the American Heart Association's Simple Cooking with Heart © Program. For more articles and simple, quick and affordable recipes, visit heart.org/simplecooking.

Last reviewed 6/2015