By Lynne Adkins

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – In the past, dieters were told to steer clear of nuts. A new study finds adding almonds to your diet won’t stop the weight loss and will help your heart.

If you’re counting calories to lose weight, counting out the almonds may not be a good plan. Researchers found adding almonds to the diet will help lower cholesterol and triglycerides.

“Compared to a group that didn’t consume any nuts, those with almonds were able to lose comparable amounts of weight at six months and 18 months,” says Dr. Gary Foster who led the study at Temple University’s Center for Obesity Research and Education.

“Calories count when it comes to weight loss, but as long as you watch portions that you can incorporate foods that you enjoy, in this case almonds, and still get weight loss and get impressive benefits in heart disease risk factors.”

So put a few almonds on your plate, just not a few hundred.