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These healthy treats prove that creamy is dreamy

Next time you're yearning for something rich and creamy, your health is in luck. Three treats that satisfy creamy cravings actually help the rest of your body, too:


1. The smooth and tangy, always-ready snack: yogurt

A diet rich in low-fat dairy such as yogurt (no sugar added, please) curbs the risk of high blood pressure by as much as 31 percent. That's likely due to its blood-pressure-friendly minerals - calcium, magnesium and potassium. Beyond snacking, aim for a little low-fat dairy at every meal: Maximum blood pressure protection is achieved with 4 1/2 servings of low-fat dairy per day.


2. The creamy treat even kids love: peanut butter

Women with type 2 diabetes who ate at least five servings of peanut butter and mixed nuts each week have a dramatically lower risk for cardiovascular disease than other women. In fact, a 45 percent lower risk. Those five weekly 1-ounce helpings seemed to knock down their total and lousy LDL cholesterol levels, too.

Nutrients in peanuts (technically legumes) and nuts may help hearts by reducing inflammation. They also may help your body use insulin better. It's likely that nuts could lower heart disease risk for guys, too, as well as for people who don't have diabetes.


3. Frozen but healthy treats: mashed bananas

Bananas keep your blood pressure in the ideal zone, strengthen your bones, dim your risk of certain cancers and may help your mood.

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