Oh, NUTS!

Out-Of-Hand Nuts (and a few Seeds)

Unless you have an allergy (obvious, and more about why those are on the rise here), it’s time to pop some nuts into your mouth. A new study published in Nutrition Research concluded that even though nut enthusiasts generally have a higher overall calorie intake, 1/4-ounce or more per day of OOHN (Out-Of-Hand Nuts) meant better overall intake of healthy fats and fiber, and a lower intake of cholesterol, sodium, and sugary carbs. More OOHN also meant lower risk of high blood pressure and better “good” HDL cholesterol–both indicative of lower heart disease risk. And yes, the researchers coined the acronym for Out-Of-Hand Nuts, which literally means nuts that you eat out of your hand versus those stashed in cookies, bread, cakes, etc.

While OOHN lovers DID consume more calories than OOHN anti-lovers, the lovers generally had similar or lower Body Mass Indexes. Perhaps it’s all the calories burned tossing the nuts into one’s mouth. Have you had YOUR out-of-hand nuts today?

Lower Your Bad “LDL” Cholesterol in 5 Easy Steps

SKINNY DISH's "Stick With You Oatmeal"

1. Replace your eggs, bacon, or cold cereal with Stick With You Oatmeal, Baked Oatmeal, or warm oat bran (like cream of wheat, only better at lowering your cholesterol). Add fruit for extra fun. Make this a permanent change.

2. Mound half your plate at lunch and dinner with veggies. Cooked, raw, both, low-fat, and the same one every meal if that’s how you like it. Just get half your plate to be naturally colorful twice a day. The bigger plate, the better.

3. Start taking 1000 milligrams of essential Omega-3 fatty acids daily. I prefer the algae-derived kind (like this one) since that’s where the fish get it, but any will work. The Omega-3’s are extra good at improving your blood lipid levels and lowering your heart disease risk, and they make your skin as soft and smooth as a baby’s bottom!

4. Replace eggs in baking with ground flaxseed meal (like the one made by Bob’s Red Mill, found at most grocery stores). Flaxseeds are not only rich in Omega-3’s, but–like oats–they’re high in soluble fiber which does quite a doozy at lowering bad cholesterol. For each egg in a recipe, use 1 tablespoon flaxseed meal soaked in 3 tablespoons warm water for 5-10 minutes until a gel forms. Toss that gooey goodness into your recipe as you would an egg. You can also just ADD flaxseed meal to just about anything… smoothies, pancakes, oatmeal, oat bran, and soy yogurt.

5. Enjoy beans or lentils as your “meaty” entrée as often as possible. They’re exploding with soluble fiber, but they also have zero cholesterol and saturated fat–you won’t be adding any bad guys to your system, and you’re stocking up on good guys. A double win! Make it a goal of getting 1 CUP of cooked beans or lentils daily. Tips here, including ways to make them less farty.

Give these changes a solid try for 3 months, and then get your cholesterol levels tested again. I expect to hear glowing reports!