Crazy about Nuts!

You hear about nuts in the media; from advertising telling you they are high calorie, high fat belly bombs to captions proclaiming them as missing manna from heaven.  I’m going to crack open the research and information to provide you with the skinny on nuts.

First and foremost let’s take a minute to appreciate the wonderful ways to enjoy nuts! Hmm mmm  delish!  Nuts are a fantastic addition to salad, chopped up for pesto, baked in pies, sprinkled on casseroles, puréed for dips, or chopped up for German Chocolate Cake… oh my the list is endless when it comes to adding nuts to dishes.   A fantastic feature of nuts is that they require no enhancements; they are delicious on their own, they can be taken right out of the shell and popped into your mouth.

So why are nuts so delicious?

Well…because they are made up mostly of fat! Oh no the dreaded word!  That’s right folks; nuts are a great source of fat.  Check out my article on the properties and types of fat, to understand not only the need for fat, but healthy properties that fat provides.

Fat accounts for roughly 50-70% of the weight of nuts, however the amount of saturated fat (bad fat) is extremely low 4-15%, the rest of the fat is made up of healthy useful fats our body can use.  Walnuts have the highest amount of healthy omega 6 fat, so if you need a boost grab them first.

What else do nuts provide?

Walnuts, followed closely by pecans, have the highest amount of flavanoids!  What is a flavanoid? Sounds like something you might find in your nasal cavity.  Well a flavanoid is a type of antioxidant that aids in lowering cholesterol!!  Antioxidants are super food compounds that fight against cancer, heart disease, and work to maintain the health of your entire body!

So why choose nuts when they are high in calories?

Nuts are energy dense, meaning a lot goes a long way.  They will fill you up long before a package of chips or cookies will.  Nuts are high in fiber!! And if you know me, you know I love anything high in fiber! Fiber is your friend and fights against most common diseases, heart disease, diabetes, and old constipation!  Let’s not forget that they are packed full of antioxidants!

Common nuts include walnuts, almonds, pecans, pistachios, peanuts, hazelnuts, Macadamia, brazilnuts,  cashews, chestnuts, Pinenuts, etc.

So, what are you waiting for?  Go have a snack

~A snack of nuts should be about 10-20nuts for 100-200calories

The larger the nut the higher the calories, so watch out for those brazilnuts!

What is your favorite nut?