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Cooking this week with nuts

There’s been a lot of talk about nuts lately due to new research that found that consuming this tasty snack could add on years to your life.

There's been a lot of talk about nuts lately due to new research that found that consuming this tasty snack could add years to your life.

The study, completed by the Gastrointestinal Cancer Center at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, found that people who ate a 1-ounce serving of nuts each day showed a 20 percent reduced risk of dying from any cause over three decades, compared to those who didn't consume this food.

Nuts have already been linked to lowering your risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes, as well as lowering cholesterol due to their amounts of unsaturated fatty acids, fiber, vitamins, and other nutrients. But cutting your risk of early death? Who knew!

So if you haven't been munching on this snack much, maybe it's time to start incorporating nuts into your diet. We've planned out five meals for you to try this week that include walnuts, peanuts, almonds and pecans - all for less than 450 calories!

Monday: Kung pao chicken

Make your own version of this Chinese food favorite with fewer calories and sodium. Plus, it takes less than a half hour to make.

Per serving: 256 calories, 8g fat, 41g carbohydrates, 10g protein, 6g fiber

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Tuesday: Broccoli-walnut pesto with pasta

This recipe uses walnuts instead of traditional pine nuts, which adds fiber for less calories. You'll also get extra nutrients from the broccoli in the dish, which is served over whole wheat pasta.

Per serving: 410 calories, 15.5g fat, 57g carbohydrates, 13g protein, 8g fiber

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Wednesday: Chevre stuffed peppers with pecans

This tasty vegetarian dish only takes 20 minute to make! Low-carb and low-cal, the meal is filled with many nutritious and flavorful ingredients such as red roasted peppers, goat cheese, raisins, and of course, pecans!

Per serving: 202 calories, 14g fat, 12g carbohydrates, 6.7g protein, 1.8g fiber

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Thursday: Chilled Maine shrimp with cabbage and peanuts, Vietnamese-style

Enjoy this Vietnamese-inspired dish for less than 250 calories! You'll also get a good source of omega-3's and Vitamin B12 from the shrimp.

Per serving: 234 calories, 14g fat, 10g carbohydrates, 19gprotein, 2g fiber

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Friday: Chicken breasts with green Chile almond cream sauce

The nuts in this low-carb recipe – almonds – are used in the sauce to complement the chicken. The sauce is inspired by green mole, and also includes almond milk, broth, green chiles, and scallion whites.

Per serving: 194 calories, 8g fat, 4g carbohydrates, 25gprotein, 1g fiber

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