Eating nuts regularly reduces cholesterol, lowers blood pressure, and reduces the risks of having a heart attack or Type 2 diabetes.  Nuts contain plant sterols, the compounds now added to some margarine to reduce cholesterol.  They are high in protein, and their protein is rich in arginine, which helps relax blood vessels and so reduce blood pressure.  Nuts have a very low glycemic index, so they are recommended for people with Type 2 diabetes.

Nutrition experts recommend eating 1 to 1-1/2 ounces (a small handful) of unsalted nuts 3 to 5 days a week.  An ounce of nuts contains between 160 and 200 calories and a high proportion of fat, but most people do not gain weight.  The unsaturated fat in nuts is good for you; eating nuts increases the energy you expend; and nuts satisfy hunger so they usually reduce consumption of other food.  Many weight-loss diets recommend nuts in moderation.

Just about all nuts (with the exception of coconut, which is very high in saturated fat and does not benefit the heart) have been shown to lower the risk of heart disease.  All the nuts shown in the table on the back of this sheet have been shown to benefit the heart.  Eat nuts you like, or better still, eat a variety of types you like.

Buy unsalted bulk “cooking nuts” rather than salted or sugared nuts or nuts roasted in oil.  The salt, sugar and oil will undo the benefits of plain nuts.  Improve the flavour of nuts by toasting them lightly in a dry skillet or on a cookie sheet in the oven at 300 degrees for 7-10 minutes.  Watch carefully so they don’t burn.

Diverticulitis.   It used to be thought that people with diverticular disease should avoid nuts, seeds, corn and popcorn.  This has now been shown to be incorrect—in fact, eating these foods (and other high-fiber foods) decreases your risk for diverticulitis.

Storing nuts.   Nuts can get rancid if not stored correctly.  Nuts in shells can be kept for a few months in a cool, dry location, but once they’ve been shelled or their containers opened, the best way to preserve them is to refrigerate (up to 6 months) or freeze them (up to a year).

To eat more nuts: Put nuts on breakfast cereal or yogurt; in a salad; as a garnish for pasta; add to a stir-fry, soup, casserole, rice, squash ot sweet potatoes; add to tuna, egg or chicken salad; as a coating for baked fish or chicken breast; in baked apples or pears; in desserts or baking.  Or use peanut or almond butter in place of butter or margarine.


Herbed Nuts

Per 1 ounce

Calories  # Nuts              Especially strong in

ALMONDS          160             24     Vitamin E (antioxidant, boost immune system,

(or 2 T. almond butter)                                                helps prevent cataracts)

­­                                                             Magnesium (strong bones, reduce migraines)

BRAZIL NUTS    190             8       Selenium (antioxidant, slows cell damage)

Phosphorus (strong bones + teeth)

CASHEWS         160              8       Selenium (antioxidant, slows cell damage)

Magnesium (strong bones, reduce migraines)

Phosphorus (strong bones + teeth)

Iron (oxygen in red blood cells, energy)

HAZELNUTS     180            20       Vitamin E (antioxidant, boost immune system,

                                         helps prevent cataracts)

MACADAMIAS  200           12       Highest unsaturated fat (lowers cholesterol)

PEANUTS         170            28       Vitamin B3 (healthy skin)

(or 2 T. peanut butter)                   Vitamin E (antioxidant, boost immune system,

helps prevent cataracts)

Zinc + Vitamin B6 (boost immune system)

 Potassium (regulates blood pressure)

PECANS            200    20 halves   Vitamin B1 (energy)

Zinc (boosts immune system)

PISTACHIOS    160            46         Phosphorus (strong bones + teeth)


WALNUTS    190         14 halves   Omega-3s (reduce cholesterol, promote                                                             cognitive function, anti-inflammatory)

2018-03-14T18:46:47-07:00 Categories: Food Post|