JoAnn Carson, a clinical nutritionist at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, in Dallas says that nuts are a good-tasting, cholesterol-lowering and fiber-filled food. But the problem is they are high in calories.
Carson says the solution is to substitute nuts for other high calorie foods and not to add them to the diet, which may result in gaining weight.
Carson advises replacing some of the chicken in chicken salad with pecans and celery and substituting an afternoon candy bar with trail mix that includes nuts. He suggests building a lunch with fruit, yogurt and nuts instead of a ham sandwich.
Nuts seem to be a 'heart-healthy' food. For example English walnuts contain primarily polyunsaturated fats, including alpha-linolenic acid -- an omega-3 fatty acid that has cardiovascular benefits.
Pecans, peanuts and macadamia nuts are high in mono-unsaturated fats that can lower low-density lipoproteins, or LDL, the "bad" cholesterol.