Omega-3 fatty acids benefit the heart of healthy people and those with or at risk for cardiovascular disease. According to the American Heart Association, Omega-3 fatty acids decrease risk of arrhythmias which can lead to sudden death. Omega-3 fatty acids also decrease triglyceride levels, slow growth rate of atherosclerotic plaque and lower blood pressure (slightly).
As always, acquiring nutrients through food versus supplements is preferred, as supplements can come with side effects. While fatty fish is known to be a wonderful source of Omega-3s, I often hear from clients that they or their family do not like fish, find it intimidating to cook, or it’s not in their budget, etc. So I wanted to present an accessible, alternative food source.
Did you know? 1/4 cup walnuts provides 2.7 grams of Omega 3s, 5 grams of protein, 20 grams of heart healthy fat, and 2 grams of fiber, making it a heart healthy staple (1/4 cup is 14 halves or 7 whole walnuts.)
So, a simple no-cook challenge for you this month: add walnuts to your grocery cart, and make a serving a stand-alone snack, or sprinkle them on salads, cereal, or yogurt in the name of your heart health.
– Keeley Mezzancello, MS, RD, CSCS