By Jon Herring

Due to their high fat content, nuts received a bad rap during the low-fat/no-fat madness of the last few decades. But the negative press was entirely undeserved, because nuts are full of fats that promote good health. In Message #1760, I wrote about the heart-healthy benefits of peanuts, walnuts, almonds, and pecans. But a new study has shown that pistachios might top them all.

Researchers in Turkey closely monitored nearly 50 men and women who made pistachio nuts 20 percent of their diet for three weeks. They found that the subjects' total cholesterol levels improved and their triglycerides dropped. But what was most impressive (besides the fact that these people ate so many pistachios) is that their levels of HDL cholesterol (the so-called "good" cholesterol) increased by 26 percent.

In addition to being good for your heart, nuts are slow to digest, so they satisfy your appetite longer than most foods. If you enjoy them, grab a couple of bags next time you're at the store, and snack on a few handfuls every day.