Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Nuts: No Need for the Heart Disease Police

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Nuts: No Need for the Heart Disease Police

Article excerpt

Dear Dr. Donohue: We were having a discussion about various nuts and were wondering if you could furnish us with the fat, cholesterol and calorie content of almonds, Brazil nuts, pistachios, pecans, macadamias and peanuts.

The cholesterol part of the question is a no-brainer. There is no cholesterol in nuts, nor in any member of the plant family of foods.

Nuts do contain non-cholesterol fats and, of course, caloric content.

Here are the calories and fats for your nut assortment, total fat in grams and all figures for 1 ounce of nuts: almonds (166 calories, 15 grams of fat), Brazil nuts (184, 19), pistachios (172, 15), pecans (190, 19), macadamia nuts (199, 20), peanuts (164, 14).

You'll note that the figures are pretty close to each other. Peanuts are not actually nuts per se, but they have similar fat and calorie content.

Not much of the fat in nuts is saturated fat.

I might know more about this topic than you'd care to learn. It's an interesting story, which began with a study of walnut fanciers who ate about 3 ounces of them daily. They were found to have a lower incidence of heart disease and also lower cholesterol. Apparently, the walnuts conferred some protection. Later, researchers confirmed that the protection was in the form of some cholesterol-lowering property in nuts.

When other groups were studied, an assortment of other nuts were found to have the same benefits - lower cholesterol and less heart disease.

What does it mean? Well, it doesn't mean you should go out and gorge on nuts. The advantages are not that overwhelming. It does mean that nut fanciers need not worry about heart-disease police knocking on their doors in the middle of the night to take them off to a nutritional gulag.

If you can stand the caloric and fat load, why crunch away.

*****

Dear Dr. Donohue: My sister-in-law and her aunt keep insisting that the slower you eat the more you overeat. …

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