February 15, 2011

Trainer Tip: The humble walnut — a superfood

by Staff, Douglas County Health Department

Joseph O’Meara

Walnuts are one of the best plant sources of protein. They are rich in fiber, B vitamins, magnesium, and antioxidants such as Vitamin E. Nuts are also high in plant sterols and fat – but mostly monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats (omega 3 fatty acids—good fats). These fats have been shown to lower LDL cholesterol.

Instead of just adding walnuts to your current diet, eat them in replacement of foods that are high in saturated fats (such as cheese and meat) and limit your intake of walnuts to about two handfuls per day. That is about 20 walnut halves.  Two handfuls a day; no preparation, no cooking, no dishes!

Here are some simple ideas to incorporate walnuts in your diet:

  • instead of cookies, get a bag of bulk walnuts (unshelled) and eat them as snacks. Keep them in your drawer at work or on the counter at home where the kids can get at them
  • instead of using meat, toss toasted walnuts in your salad or pasta
  • instead of layering pepperoni, use chopped walnuts on your pizza
  • instead of eating bacons or eggs, use walnuts as a protein choice by sprinkling chopped walnuts in your oatmeal or breakfast cereal

Healthy Eating


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