The truth about NUTS!
Nuts are rich in protein, dietary fiber and healthy fats. They are high in calories, most of the calories come from a mixture of saturated, polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fatty acids, but primarily the latter two. This is why in certain diets they are a forbidden food and there is a common misconception between weight gain and nuts. There is actually research that now shows that nuts do not tend to cause weight gain and can actually help with weight loss!
Here are some of the benefits of certain types of nuts, adding them to your diet as a substitute for an unhealthy snack could also have a positive effect on your health….
Brazil Nuts – are associated with a decrease in the risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease and infertility due to their high levels of selenium.
Walnuts – could improve your memory and concentration due their high content of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals in-particular alpha linolenic acid. So perhaps it isn’t a coincidence that they look like little brains!
Pistachios – can help the body to process insulin and glucose therefore helping with blood sugar levels.
Pecans – are the nut with the richest source of vitamin E and antioxidants. They feed the nervous system, keeping neurodegenerative diseases at bay.
Macadamia nuts – can help in the reduction of cholesterol.
Almonds – are associated with weight loss – they are packed with protein and fiber and a lot of earthy unsaturated fats, keeping cravings at bay.
Some Research on NUTS!
Today’s Dietitian (January 2015) Eat Nuts Article states…..
In the New England Journal of Medicine study, researchers tracked 76,464 female and 42,498 male subjects. Those who ate 1 oz of nuts per day, including peanuts and tree nuts, not only had a lower mortality risk than those who ate nuts less than once per week, they also were leaner. They had a smaller waist circumference and decreased obesity risk.1
Nuts contain 13g – 18g of fat and 160-200kcal per 1oz serving, although the fat in nuts such as almonds, pecans, walnuts and hazelnuts is mainly mono and polyunsaturated fats. Nuts also provide 1-7g protein and 1-3g dietary fiber per oz. They are described as “heart healthy” nutrients and also provide a great source of vitamin E and potassium.
The only way I can find a relationship between nuts and weight gain is if nuts are added to your diet without cutting calories elsewhere. It is also thought that once people consume nuts they are less likely to snack on other foods. Nuts can be used as a good protein snack instead of a sugary carbohydrate snack and could prevent you from getting hungry in between meals as protein keeps us satisfied for longer.
The Fitness Magazine article The Healthiest Nuts on the Planet says
The FDA recommends consuming an ounce and a half of nuts (about a handful, or 240 calories) per day, but only four out of 10 Americans eat nuts on a daily basis, according to a recent CDC study.
So in conclusion, enjoy nuts in moderation and try to choose some that will give you a health benefit at the same time.
Today’s Dietitian Eat Nuts January 2015
Livestrong.com Can eating too many nuts make you fat.
Fitness magazine The healthiest nuts on the planet.