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On-The-Go Tips

Don’t let your busy schedule get the best of your eating habits. Chips, candy, and other processed snacks are not the only time-saving options out there. These less nutritious foods are not the best choices for every day – especially if you have diabetes or are trying to follow a heart-healthy diet.

Enter, nuts. A fool-proof, on-the-go snack food. Not only are they delicious, but nuts are packed with nutrients that are good for your heart. They are:

  • full of fiber 
  • a good source of healthy unsaturated fats
  • a source of vitamins, minerals, and other substances which are thought to protect the cardiovascular system in various ways

As with everything, you should still be mindful of portion sizes. Nuts may be a heart-healthy food, but they are also dense in calories and have some carbohydrates. A serving of nuts is usually one ounce, or about a handful, and can have 150-200 calories per serving. It is a good idea to portion them out beforehand, instead of eating out of a bulk container.

Be sure the nuts you buy are free of added sugars and salt. Opt for varieties that are dry roasted or raw, which are still flavorful and make a tasty snack. There are all sorts of options to choose from – walnuts, almonds, cashews, macadamia nuts, hazelnuts, peanuts, pecans, or pistachios.

Nuts are great for when you are on-the-go because they don’t have to be refrigerated during the day. Keep them in your car, your purse, or at your desk for a healthy snack when you need it.

Want more than just nuts? Try making your own trail mix. Mix two or three different types of nuts and add a tablespoon of dried cranberries, blueberries, or raisins. You could also throw in some pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds. Have 1/4 cup of nuts also go great with a small piece of fruit, 4-6 ounces of non-fat yogurt, or 1 ounce of reduced-fat cheese cubes.

Walnuts are a source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are a type of healthy fat. Studies show that omega-3 fatty acids help reduce the risk of heart arrhythmias and can help prevent clogged arteries. So walnuts are a great choice! You can also get omega-3’s from fish, tofu, soybeans, flaxseed, and canola oil.  

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