While it may be tempting to reach for that next piece of Valentine’s Day chocolate, add some peanuts to your diet instead in honor of American Heart Month. Did you know that just a handful of peanuts a day may help you maintain heart healthy cholesterol levels? Peanuts have earned a distinctive heart health claim from the FDA which states, “Scientific evidence suggests, but does not prove, that eating 1.5 ounces per day of most nuts, including peanuts, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, may reduce the risk of heart disease.”
While peanuts contain 14 grams of fat per ounce, 86 percent of the fat is unsaturated or “good” fat and peanuts are naturally trans-fat free. A recent story on TIME.com shares perspective on why cutting back on total fat isn’t enough to help the heart. The latest Dietary Guidelines for Americans also encourage limiting saturated or “bad” fat because of “evidence that replacing saturated fats with unsaturated fats is associated with reduced risk of cardiovascular disease.”
In this recent segment on ABC News Channel 8, Rebecca Scritchfield, RD, talks about the benefits of incorporating peanuts and peanut butter into a heart-healthy lifestyle.
For more recipe ideas, visit www.nationalpeanutboard.org/recipes