The superstar: Almonds
These nuts are good for your ticker; they have been shown to lower both total and LDL (bad) cholesterol.
The understudy: Peanuts
This legume contains the same healthy oil that almonds do, so it also works hard at reducing your heart-disease risk. Plus, it can be a great weight-loss snack: People who eat peanuts and peanut products tend to have lower BMIs than those who nix them, a study from Pennsylvania State University found. This may be because they take the place of unhealthy treats. Research from the Harvard School of Public Health and Brigham and Women's Hospital showed that people who ate a reduced-calorie diet that included peanuts, peanut butter, and other healthy fats lost more weight and were better able to stay on track than those who ate a low-fat diet. Just shop carefully and watch portions. Stick to one-quarter cup of unsalted regular or dry-roasted peanuts or two tablespoons of natural peanut butter daily. "Store nuts and seeds in the fridge so they won't spoil," says David Grotto, RD, author of 101 Optimal Life Foods.
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