By Dr. Leo Galland, M.D., and Jonathan Galland
Walnuts are great snack foods: convenient and packed with nutrients. Their crunchiness makes them an appetizing part of a healthy dessert recipe, too.
We love walnuts because they contain anti-inflammatory omega-3 fats, which are an important part of The Fat Resistance Diet.
People who ate walnuts regularly had a reduced incidence of heart attacks.
When they advised people to add a quarter cup of walnuts to their diets, or for comparison, to remove all walnuts from their diets, they found that not eating walnuts led to weight gain.
Studies conducted in several different countries have shown that eating walnuts at a dose of 1/3 to 1/2 cup per day reduces levels of cholesterol, in particular the harmful LDL-cholesterol.
In some studies, eating walnuts reduces the level of triglycerides, even when the total amount of fat in the diet is increased.
And beneficial HDL-cholesterol either increases or stays the same, so that the important ratio of HDL to total cholesterol always improves.
This effect has been demonstrated in healthy women and men, in diabetics, and in patients with high cholesterol.
In women and men with elevated cholesterol, supplementing a healthy diet with walnuts improves the flexibility and function of blood vessels.
It’s easy to make walnuts a healthy part of your day. Add a few walnuts to every salad that you make. Have a cup of yogurt with a few walnuts.
Pack up some walnuts in little zip bags for on-the-go snacks. If you prefer toasted nuts, place the walnuts in your toaster oven tray and bake for about four minutes.