The humble walnut has officially been recognised as heart-healthy.
A new study from the University of Wollongong has identified nuts as a snack linked to lowering cholesterol, which is key for maintaining good heart health.
Dr Elizabeth Neale from UOW says that despite the high fat content of nuts, Aussies should be re-thinking their dietary choices to include walnuts in their day-to-day meals.
“Our research combines the results of many scientific studies, showing that nut consumption is associated with the reduced risk of cardiovascular and coronary heart disease, with no adverse effects on body weight," she explains.
“We know that nut consumption in Australia falls short of the recommended 30g serve per day, and with heart disease growing at a rapid rate in this country, the research findings support adding a handful of nuts, such as walnuts, to your day.”
How do walnuts reduce cholesterol?
"Walnuts are a particularly heart-healthy nut, as they offer one of the highest plant sources of Omega 3s and antioxidants, and are also rich in bioactive components including polyphenols, carotenoids, phytosterols, fibre and minerals," says Elizabeth.
Simply put, these Omega 3-fatty acids and unsatuated fats help to lower 'bad' cholesterol (LDL) and increase the production of 'good' cholesterol in our bodies.
What other health benefits do they have?
Not only will they help your body to produce good cholesterol, walnuts are an antioxidant and are also high in fibre. A handful of walnuts for an mid-morning snack will help you to stay fuller for longer - which can help to banish cravings if you're watchng your weight.