New research indicates eating nuts is related to better diet quality in children and adults.

Consumers of tree nuts—almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, hazelnuts, macadamias, pecans, pine nuts, pistachios and walnuts—had higher intakes of energy, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats (the good fats) and dietary fiber, and lower intakes of carbohydrates, cholesterol and sodium than non-consumers, according to a press release.

“Adult consumers also had a 19 percent decreased risk of hypertension and a 21 percent decreased risk of low high-density lipoprotein (the good cholesterol) levels, both risk factors for metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular disease,” stated Carol O’Neil, Ph.D., R.D., lead author on the paper and professor at Louisiana State University Agricultural Center.

The researchers suggest people eat nuts as a snack or throw some on yogurt, salad or oatmeal.

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