Dietitians often caution against eating lots of high-energy foods, like nuts, to avoid putting on pounds.
But a one-year study presented at a recent Experimental Biology conference found that when subjects ate up to 15% of their daily calories in walnuts, it had no effect on their body weight, and even reduced their LDL (bad) cholesterol levels compared with non-nut eaters.
And that wasn’t the only great walnut-centric revelation to come out of the meeting: A USDA study found that just 1.5 ounces of walnuts a day can change your gut bacteria in a way that helps decrease inflammation and cholesterol, potentially improving heart health.
Another study from the University of Georgia showed that diets high in polyunsaturated fats—like those found in walnuts—can tamp down hunger and make you feel full.
And Oregon State University researchers found that a mix of walnuts and polyphenol-dense foods like fruit, berries, and green tea can quash inflammation and boost your metabolism. Go for at least 1.5 ounces (about 20 halves, or a palmful) every day.
Get more walnuts into your diet by using them in...
Sandwich walnut halves between dried apricots and cream cheese.
Mix 1/2 cup walnuts, 2 cup cooked lentils, 2 tbsp Dijon, 1 tbsp red wine vinegar.
Mix 1 cup toasted walnuts, 1/4 cup raisins and dried cherries, 3 1/2 cup whole-grain puffed cereal, 1 cup dark chocolate chips.