According to a new study, adding as little as 2 ounces of walnuts to your daily diet may help bolster weakened blood vessels and lower levels of “bad” cholesterol, both of which are risk factors for heart problems and type 2 diabetes. Researchers claim test subjects who ate approximately 14 walnuts per day for six months showed improved quality of their diets without causing weight gain.
With that in mind, we think it’s time to get cracking. Check out these 10 delicious ways to easily incorporate walnuts into your diet.
Add Them to Yogurt
Plain yogurt is a great way to get protein without extra sugar. Walnuts make yogurt a flavorful snack with a crunchy texture.
Bake Them on Salmon
Create some texture to baked salmon by crushing the walnuts and adding them as a crumb layer to the top of salmon filets. Bake the fish in the oven for a delicious meal rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Check out this glazed salmon recipe from the American Diabetes Association, remembering to substitute walnuts for the pistachios.
Mixed Nuts and Seeds Snack
Speaking of other healthy nuts, mix walnuts with a variety of nuts or seeds for a mid-day snack. The American Diabetes Association recommends including nuts in your diet as a way to consume polyunsaturated fats, a type of healthy fat that may lower cholesterol levels in your blood. Try mixing walnuts with pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, pecans or almonds for a tasty treat loaded with fiber, protein and vitamins.
Toss in Salad
Nothing says vitamins like an orange and walnut salad. This recipe from the American Diabetes Association gives you servings of fresh fruits, vegetables and nuts in one wholesome bowl.
Add to Whole-Grain Cereal or Oatmeal
A wholesome bowl of cereal or oatmeal gets your day going, so put some walnuts on top of your whole-grain cereal and splash on some milk for some carbs and protein to put some tiger in the tank. On a cold day, mix walnuts in some hot oatmeal as you prepare to go out and face the cold.
Eat by the Handful
Place a serving bowl of whole walnuts on the table and have some fun cracking them open. Pop them in your mouth while you take a 10-minute break from your day. Keep these walnuts around so you can prepare them for any grab-and-go meal you need.
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Grab a healthy sandwich made with whole-grain bread, lettuce, tomatoes, a slice of cheese and sandwich meat. Add six or seven walnuts amid the nutritious layers and you’ve got half of the daily suggestion of walnuts in just one lunch. Leafy layers never tasted so good!
Grind Up a Smoothie
You already pile in the spinach, blueberries and flaxseeds to your morning power smoothie. Throw in 2 ounces of walnuts and you’re all set to tackle that morning commute.
Cheese, Crackers, and Walnuts
Create a simple snack that refreshes you at work and gets you by until dinner with crackers, cheese and walnuts. Place a slice of cheese on a cracker, add two walnuts and repeat seven times for your 2 ounces of daily walnuts. Again, this doesn’t need a lot of prep time and you can eat this in between lunch and dinner on your afternoon break from work.
Crunchy Slaw on the Side for Dinner
Cole slaw can still be healthy when you make it with low-fat mayo, fresh cabbage and slivered carrots. Toss some walnuts in the mix and you have another fast, healthy side dish or snack that doesn’t take a lot of effort to make.
To get even more healthy eating tips, check out these on-the-go snack ideas that are both nutritious and diabetes-friendly.Whizzco