15 Food Swaps That Could Save Your Life

These 15 foods have life-extending superpowers! Add them to your grocery list to help your body fight disease, ward off cancer, reduce your risk of diabetes -- and make you healthier and stronger (16 Photos)

Nicole Yorio Jurick on Oct 26, 2011 at 3:50PM

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15 Food Swaps That Could Save Your Life

Maren Caruso/Photodisc/Guy Crittenden/Workbook Stock/Getty Images

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To Protect Your Heart -- and Your Figure -- Snack on Pistachios -- Not Pretzels

If you’re craving a snack that’s salty and crunchy, reach for the little green nuts. Eating 1.5 ounces of nuts a day may reduce the risk of heart disease, says Jackie Newgent, registered dietitian and author of The Big Green Cookbook. Those heart healthy benefits are due to the monounsaturated fats in the nuts, which lower LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and increase HDL (“good”) cholesterol. If you’re watching the scale, know that pistachio eaters lost more weight than those who snacked on pretzels, a study from UCLA found. “The work that’s required to shell a pistachio makes it harder to munch mindlessly, Newgent says. And unlike carb-rich pretzels, pistachios contain filling fiber, protein, and energy-boosting B6 to keep you satisfied for longer.

Serve it Up: Place 30 pistachios in a baggie for a 100-calorie snack, then store at your desk, in your purse, or in your glove compartment for the next time your tummy rumbles.

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