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How can something that's so high in fat be good for you? Nuts are massively underrated as a health food - fewer than one in five of us eats unsalted nuts on a regular basis, yet they're packed with powerful disease-fighting substances. As well as being high in vitamin E, renowned for its anti-ageing properties and thought to help protect against Alzheimer's, almonds contain monounsaturated fats - the same health-promoting fats found in olive oil - as well as magnesium, which helps keep arteries healthy, and potassium, which helps lower blood pressure. Five major US studies have found that people who regularly eat nuts have a lower risk of heart disease. And recent research indicated that if you substitute almonds for another fatty food in your diet, you might even lose weight. It found that a group of people who included almonds as part of their low-calorie diet lost more weight, more body fat and had a bigger decrease in their waistline and blood pressure than another group on a low-fat, high-carb diet.

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