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FDA Approves Healthful Nuts Message

The FDA has approved a message to go on nut packages that promotes the suggested - but not proven - heart benefits that nuts provide. This is the very first product the FDA is allowing to have such a message on before the final studies have definitely proven the health benefit.

The actual message reads "Scientific evidence suggests but does not prove that eating 1.5 ounces per day of most nuts as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol may reduce the risk of heart disease." This message will be put on almonds, hazelnuts, peanuts, pecans, pistachios, and walnuts. 1.5 ounces is equivalent to 3 tablespoons.

While nuts do have some fat, the American Heart Association website indicates that these are heart-healthy fats - monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat. Nuts are also rich sources of protein and are included on most vegetarian diets as a superb substitute for meat.

Low carb and Atkins diets encourage eating nuts for this reason, and because they are high in fiber. Nuts are far healthier snacks than much of the junk food consumed in developed nations. Here are the carb counts for portions of healthy nuts:

3 Tbsp whole almonds: 2.1g net carbs
3 Tbsp whole hazelnuts: 1.8g net carbs
3 Tbsp whole peanuts: 2.7g net carbs
3 Tbsp chopped pecans: 0.9g net carbs
3 Tbsp whole pistachios: 4.6g net carbs
3 Tbsp halved walnuts: 1.3g net carbs

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