They're tiny, tasty and tempting-and you can't eat just one.
Nuts may be forbidden fruit to a dieter, but most of their fat content is unsaturated, the kind that's kind to your heart. This so-called "good" fat doesn't clog arteries, it cleanses them, helping the bloodstream wash away cholesterol.
Walnuts contain high levels of alpha linolenic acid, a fat that helps prevent an irregular heart beat, which can cause sudden death. Peanuts are rich in the antioxidant resveratrol, which also cuts your cardiovascular risk. "Nuts are a powerhouse of nutrients," says Miriam Hospital dietitian Theresa Jerominek. RD, "They contain healthy portions of protein, magnesium, vitamin E, fiber and potassium."
While nuts may be heart-friendly, they're still a waist-buster. "Try using nuts as a protein source, rather than as a snack," advises Jerominek. "Sprinkle a one-ounce serving on cereal, fat-free yogurt, pasta or salads. Add to your recipes for muffins, pancakes and breads. Nuts add texture and flavor, so use your imagination."
A nutty recipe: