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Holiday Treats with Health Benefits

Feel good about splurging on these 5 foods. Here's why.

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Macadamia nuts
Iain Bagwell

Nuts

Health benefits: Mono- and polyunsaturated fatty acids―the types of fats that have been linked to heart-health benefits. All nuts contain quality protein and fiber, and are excellent sources of vitamin E, folate, and magnesium. English walnuts are a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids that may help reduce the risk for cardiovascular disease by decreasing arterial inflammation.
Latest research: People who eat nuts often have lower risk of heart disease. One study shows that eating a small handful (about 11/2 ounces) of macadamia nuts daily helped reduce total cholesterol by 9.4 percent and LDL (“bad”) cholesterol by 8.9 percent. Macadamia nuts are higher in monounsaturated fats than other tree nuts. These fats play an important role in regulating cholesterol and keeping levels optimal.
How much to enjoy: 1 to 11/2 ounces, or roughly 1/4 to 1/3 cup. Eat enough to cover the palm of your hand.

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