Nuts: Powerhouses of nutrition

All nuts are a very healthy choice, with fiber, protein, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants! Joan Katz, RD, LNHA, Chief Dietitian at Christian Health Care Center, says that nuts have many heart-related benefits. For example, adding a little more than an ounce of nuts to a Mediterranean diet lowers the risk of heart disease by 30 percent!

Based on the research, here’s the lowdown on the link between the positive effects of nuts on heart health: Crunchy 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.

At Christian Health Care Center, the Food and Nutrition Services staff strives to ensure that every patient, residents, client, and consumer maintains his/her optimum nutritional health. Registered dietitians conduct periodic nutritional assessments and are vital members of the interdisciplinary care team. Through the CHCC Speakers Burean, our dietitians can make presentations to your group. For more information, call (201) 848-4463 or email


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