Nancy Dell: Organic milk/meat more nutrients? How much nuts lower cholesterol?

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1. Are organic milk and meats higher in any nutrients?  Maria, Internet

Researchers from 9 countries reviewed 263 studies on milk and meat and it is more healthful. Organic milk and meat provide up to 50 percent more omega-3 fats than conventionally farmed milk and meat. Omega-3 fats are the healthy fats we usually find in fish. They are good for your brain and heart.

Organic meat is lower in saturated fat. Organic milk products have more vitamin E and other nutrients that reduce the risk of heart disease and some cancers.

Researchers speculate that the differences in nutrients is because the organic foods usually come from grass-fed animals.

2. How many nuts do I need to eat to lower my cholesterol? What kind is best? Jack, Internet

According to a analysis of 61 studies, tree nuts do lower total cholesterol, bad cholesterol, and triglycerides. The type of nut is not as important as the portion size you eat. You can eat pecans, walnuts, pistachios, almonds, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, or Brazil nuts. The dose that lowered the lab values the best is about 2 ounces or about one half cup. But there can be some concerns.

First, one half cup of nuts can have up to 400 calories. Be sure to cut other foods to make room for these calories. Use nuts in place of some meat and some unhealthy snacks and desserts.

Also, too many Brazil nuts could give you too much of the mineral selenium. Just 1 Brazil nut supplies nearly 100% of the selenium recommended each day. Too much can be toxic and give you brittle nails and hair. So in that 1/4 cup of nuts you may have each day, make just 1 or 2 nuts a Brazil nut.

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