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Do you know all the reasons why you should be eating nuts - and which types and amounts are best? Take the following quiz to find out.

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More Nutty Nutrition Facts for You

Do you know all the reasons why you should be eating nuts - and which types and amounts are best? Take the following quiz to find out.

Which of these heart-healthy substances do nuts contain?

 A. Fiber  B. Vitamin  E  C. Plant sterols   D. L-arginine  E. All of these

Answer: E. Most nuts contain all of these heart-healthy nutrients. First, fiber (found in all nuts) helps lower cholesterol and makes you feel full sooner. There's also some evidence that fiber can help prevent diabetes. Vitamin E may help prevent the formation of plaque in your arteries. Plant sterols, found in high amounts in almonds, macadamia nuts and peanuts, can help lower cholesterol, and the amino acid L-arginine may help make your blood vessels more flexible and less prone to blood clots.

Which of the following conditions could eating nuts potentially improve or help prevent?

A. Heart disease  B. Diabetes  C. Overweight or obesity  D. All of these

Answer: D. Nuts may help keep you healthy on several fronts. First, there's significant evidence that they can help reduce the risk of heart disease by lowering unhealthy cholesterol levels, reducing inflammation and improving blood vessel health. Nuts may also have the potential to help prevent diabetes and keep blood glucose levels in check in people with diabetes. (Because they're so low in carbohydrates, nuts don't raise glucose levels rapidly when eaten alone and seem to keep the rise in check when eaten with carbohydrate-rich foods.) And despite being high in calories, some evidence suggests that nuts don't contribute to excess weight and may even help promote some weight loss.

Which of the following are not actually nuts?

A. Hazelnuts  B. Peanuts  C. Pistachios

Answer: B. Despite their name, peanuts are not actually nuts -- they're legumes, which are edible seeds enclosed in pods (like peas and beans). But peanuts are classified with nuts because they share so many nutritional and physical qualities. Peanuts are higher in protein than any of the true nuts, as well as amino acids, the building blocks of protein. Peanuts are a good source of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, as well as vitamin E, niacin, folic acid and manganese. They also contain resveratrol, the phytochemical found in grapes and red wine that's thought to help protect the heart. And peanut butter (like all the nut butters) offers the same nutritional benefits as the nuts themselves, so it can be part of a healthy snack or an alternative to traditional sandwich fillings such as meat and cheese.

Revised and Updated for 2012:
The Nutrition and Weight Control White Paper

Johns Hopkins White Paper: Nutrition and Weight Control

The evidence is overwhelming: A diet abundant in nutrient-rich foods can be a powerful tool in preventing disease. Maintaining a healthy weight through a combination of diet and exercise is known to lower the risk of high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, osteoporosis, arthritis and many kinds of cancer. In the Nutrition and Weight Control White Paper, nutrition and weight control experts from Johns Hopkins show you how to follow a balanced diet, how to lose unwanted pounds safely and how to keep them off. Get facts, not fads, to help you stay healthy and lose weight. This important family resource is available for just $19.95 -- that's a 50 percent savings off the regular $39.95 cover price.
Read more or order the PRINT EDITION

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