Most days I eat a handful of nuts. I think they're delicious, satiating, and nutritious. However, as a nutritionist, I often find that in my work with women, there's a huge resistance to including nuts into an eating repertoire.
Nuts get a bad rap because of their high fat and calorie content—especially with women who've been influenced by a diet culture that often vilifies fat as being fattening. Scientific research doesn't support the idea that nuts are fattening; on the contrary, nuts get a big thumbs up for health, especially heart health. For vegans and vegetarians (and non fish eaters) who don't get omega-3 fats from oily fish, walnuts can be a really useful source of these essential fats in the form of α-linolenic acid.
A study published last year looked into the effect of daily walnut consumption on cardiac risk in overweight adults with signs of metabolic syndrome, which is a group of risk factors for heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes. An individual is considered to have metabolic syndrome if they have three or more of the following: