Nuts, a food that was once avoided for its high fat and caloric content is now being flaunted for its many health benefits. Nuts are high in fat, but its healthy kind, monounsaturated fat, can help lower blood cholesterol.

In addition, The Department of Nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health established that nut eaters were found to have an increase of five to six years of life that's free from cardiovascular disease.

Nuts are rich in fiber, which promote satiety and therefore helps avert many individuals from overeating. They are also rich in phytonutrients and antioxidants such as vitamin E and selenium. Other powerful antioxidants found in nuts like quercetin and campferol may help suppress the growth of cancers. Nuts are high in plant sterols and monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which have all been shown to lower the bad LDL cholesterol.

In 2003, the FDA recognized the benefits of nuts and their role in preventing many diseases by approving a health claim for seven kinds of nuts (pistachios, almonds, hazelnuts, peanuts, pecans, some pine nuts, and walnuts). Limit your intake to about 1.5 ounces a day, as nuts are high in calories. The best way to reap the health benefits of nuts is to eat them in replacement of foods that are high in saturated fats.

Many people blame the food industry for the increase of obesity in America. With that being said, according to the Hazelnut Council, manufacturers are responding by creating products that are beneficial for your health and tasty too. Thus, consumption of nuts persists to climb as Americans are choosing them as nutritious substitutes to chips and candy.

Here are some new nut snacks for you to enjoy, which are not only delicious, but also nutritious_

1. Tru Northis an all new all natural snack brand manufactured by Frito- Lay. Try their Pistachio Crisps; with the first ingredient being pistachios. You will not be able to resist the bold and scrumptious nutty flavor. They're a great protein-packed alternative for any cracker craving. Pistachio Crispsare great for dipping, breaking into salads or just to have as a snack. You can nibble on 12 crisps for 140 calories 2 g rams of fiber and 5 g rams of protein

2. Bell Plantation Companyhas given a new meaning to peanut butter and who isn't a peanut butter lover? It's a powder consisting of only peanuts, salt and sugar. It is recommended to add water to make it a smooth and creamy spread; however you can add it to yogurts, jelly and in any recipe calling for peanut butter. The greatest part about it is your eating delicious peanut butter for 85 percent less calories then its original counterpart. Two tablespoons is simply 54 calories, 1 gram of fiber and 5 grams of protein.

3. Almondinais a brand of healthy biscuits, which will satisfy your sweet tooth without the guilt. These crunchy delights are packed with roasted almonds and come in a variety of flavors. Some of their exotic flavors include cinnaroma, ginger spice, choconut and almonduo. Four biscuits contain: 133 calories, 1 gram of fiber and 3 grams of protein, so go ahead and enjoy that yummy delectable crunch you crave.

4. Gnu, Banana-Walnut Flavor and Fiber Baris a delicious and tasty treat. Not only do you get a boost extra fiber, but with the addition of walnuts you receive numerous amounts of health benefits as well. The best part is it only contains 140 calories a whopping 12grams of fiber and 4 grams of protein.

Tanya Zuckerbrot, MS, RD is a nutritionist and the creator of The F-Factor DietaC/, an innovative nutritional program she has used for more than ten years to provide hundreds of her clients with all the tools they need to achieve easy weight loss and maintenance, improved health and well-being. For more information log onto The F-Factor Diet: Discover the Secret to Permanent Weight Loss

Tanya Zuckerbrot MS, RD, is a Registered Dietitian in New York City and the author of two bestselling diet books: The F-Factor Diet and The Miracle Carb Diet: Make Calories and Fat Disappear – with Fiber.

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