I grew up in a family of ‘snackers.’ As a result I suffered from weight problems much of my life. Exercise is important, but you can dig your own grave with your knife and fork. You need to pay attention to the quality of your calories as well as the quantity.
Herewith a rundown on noshing on nuts for healthy and nutritious snacks in reasonable quantities.
The science of whether some dietary choices can be considered brain food or not continues to unfold.
Given long time-frames of conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, it’s challenging to prove any cause and effect relationship between specific foods and brain health. Most such associations are drawn from observational studies, in which people who eat more or less of a certain food are assessed over time for cognitive changes.
It’s obviously difficult to feed a group of study participants lots of, say, blueberries for several years in order to test their brain health at the end; that’s why clinical trials of so-called brain foods have largely depended on animal tests.
Nonetheless, some foods tend to stand out from the pages and pages of research results as most likely being protective for brain health. Continue reading →
Tufts Health and Nutrition Update offers the following answer:
“When one looks at the nutrients gram for gram, raw and roasted nuts are essentially equivalent,” says Helen Rasmussen, PhD, RD, senior research dietitian in the Metabolic Research Unit at Tufts’ Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging. “Nuts are roasted to enhance taste, aroma, and texture (crunchiness). Nuts that are sold as ‘raw’ have not been roasted, although harvested nuts that are in their shell may still have heat applied to separate the shell from the nut. When heat is applied to any food there can be a change in the composition of that food. With nuts, the difference is largely attributable to loss of water.”
“Nuts are known for the health properties of their fat composition, which is changed only minimally by roasting. One ounce of roasted almonds, for example, has 0.4 grams more monounsaturated fat than raw nuts, and an almost negligible change in saturated and polyunsaturated fat levels. It also has 6 more calories than the same weight of raw almonds. Raw nuts have a slight edge over roasted nuts in dietary fiber (0.5 grams more per ounce).”
“Consumers should be aware that raw nuts have at times been associated with a risk of food poisoning from salmonella, e-coli, or other microbes.”
Nuts often take a bad rap for their calories. I love snacking on them and relying on them as an alternate source of protein to red meat. I’m not a vegetarian, but I do work on limiting the amount of red meat I consume in any month.
Herewith an infographic to help you in your healthy snacking.
I am fortunate in that I like nuts in all manner and form. Always have. So, nuts are an integral part of my daily diet.
Many people think of nuts as just another junk food snack. In reality, nuts are excellent sources of healthy fat, protein, and other healthful nutrients.
One surprising finding from nutrition research is that people who regularly eat nuts are less likely to have heart attacks or die from heart disease than those who rarely eat them. Several of the largest cohort studies, including the Adventist Study, the Iowa Women’s Health Study, the Nurses’ Health Study, and the Physicians’ Health Study have shown a consistent 30 percent to 50 percent lower risk of myocardial infarction, sudden cardiac death, or cardiovascular disease associated with eating nuts several times a week. In fact, the FDA now allows some nuts and foods made with them to carry this claim: “Eating a diet that includes one ounce of nuts daily can reduce your risk of heart disease.”Continue reading →
Here is some heartening news for folks worried about fats consumption.
You may want to think about adding avocados, olive oil, and nuts to your grocery list, since a new study has suggested that the monounsaturated fatty acids in these foods could boost intelligence.
Researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign found that higher levels of monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs) in the blood correlated with greater general intelligence in older adults.
Study leader Aron K. Barbey, a professor of psychology at the university, and colleagues recently reported their results in the journal Neuroimage.
“Nuts to you” used to be a way of putting someone down. But, according to Tufts, nuts might be a good way to get some of those pesky cholesterol levels down.
At least part of the proven cardiovascular benefits of eating nuts can be explained by their effects on cholesterol and other blood lipids, according to new Tufts research. The meta-analysis of 61 controlled intervention trials totaling 2,532 participants found that tree nut intake lowered total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, triglycerides and lipoproteins (particles that transport fats through the body). The major determinant of cholesterol lowering appeared to be nut dose rather than nut type, so you can eat your favorite nuts without worrying about nutrient differences.
“This meta-analysis provides the most comprehensive estimates to date of the effects of tree nut intake on major cardiovascular disease risk factors,” says Dariush Mozaffarian, MD, DrPH, dean of Tufts’ Friedman School and editor-in-chief of the Health & Nutrition Letter, who was a co-author on the study.
Lead author Liana C. Del Gobbo, PhD, adds, “Accumulating evidence indicates that nut intake lowers risk of cardiovascular disease events. Our findings showing that nut intake significantly improves the lipid profile provide critical mechanistic evidence to support a causal link between nut intake and lowered cardiovascular disease risk.” Continue reading →
Specifically, those who ate nuts five or more times per week were found to enjoy a 29% reduction in death from heart disease; an 11% reduction in death from stroke; a 23% reduction in death from infection; a 24% reduction in death from respiratory diseases; a 29% reduction in death from kidney disease; and an 11% reduction in death from cancer.
A recent article in the New England Journal of Medicine underscores the health benefits of nuts. Researchers followed over a hundred thousand men and women over several decades and concluded that eating nuts helped them stave off the Grim Reaper. Seven or more servings of nuts per week cut the risk of dying by a third! (“A serving” was defined as one ounce, which is about one handful of almonds.)
Specifically, those who at nuts five or more times per week were found to enjoy a 29% reduction in death from heart disease; an 11% reduction in death from stroke; a 23% reduction in death from infection; a 24% reduction in death from respiratory diseases; a 29% reduction in death from kidney disease; and an 11% reduction in death from cancer.
It’s long been known that nuts are heart-healthy. A now-famous study of…
What’s more, researchers from Purdue University found that nuts are not linked with weight gain, despite their relatively high calorie count. An ounce of nuts has 160-200 calories, depending on the type.
By Kathleen Doheny WebMD Health News Reviewed by Brunilda Nazario, MD Sept. 10, 2014
Once viewed by some as a food too high in calories to enjoy on a regular basis, nuts are getting new respect.
Two recent studies have touted the benefits of nuts for blood sugar control. One, published in Diabetes Care, found that eating pistachio nuts daily may help people at risk of getting diabetes control their blood sugar. A second, published in PLOS One, found that tree nuts — including almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, and pecans, among others — may improve blood sugar control in people with type 2 diabetes.
These are only a couple of many recent studies that point to the health benefits of eating nuts in moderation.
WebMD asked two dietitians to dish on what else we need to know about these crunchy treats.
Peanuts are salty and delicious pleasure. Ideal for appetizers while watching a sports game or a great substitute for potato chips while watching a movie. Besides being delicious, it can be very healthy.
Regulate the level of sugar in the blood
For stable blood sugar throughout the day, eat peanut butter. It is recommended this product to eat for breakfast.
Increase concentration and memory capability
Thanks to vitamin B3 that contain peanuts, helps the brain to function normally and increases concentration and ability to remember.
Peanuts reduce cholesterol
Although the belong in the category of products that contain high amounts of calories and fat, recent studies have shown that peanuts can act preventively heart disease and lower cholesterol and triglycerides without weight gain.
Peanuts are rich in vitamins B1, B3, 3, magnesium, calcium, iron and…
Let me hear that, get me near that Crunchy Granola Suite Drop your shrink and stop your drinkin’ Crunchy granola’s neat ( Neil Diamond )
I agree with Neil about crunchy granola being neat. It has been a part of my diet for more years than I care to remember.
I know ‘Granola Without Grains’ sounds like something left over from April Fool’s Day. But it isn’t. That’s why I was so surprised to discover Paleo Granola by CJK Foods of Chicago, IL.
“Granola,” according to Wikipedia “is a breakfast food and snack food, popular in the Americas, consisting of rolled oats, nuts, honey, and sometimes puffed rice, that is usually baked until crisp. During the baking process the mixture is stirred to maintain a loose, breakfast cereal-type consistency. Dried fruits, such as raisins and dates, are sometimes added.”
So, clearly, grains are an integral part of granola.
I must confess almost total ignorance of the Paleo diet. I just checked the web and the first thing I learned is that they don’t eat grains. They do eat grass-produced meats, fish/seafood, fresh fruits and veggies, eggs, nuts and seeds and healthful oils, like coconut oil. Lots of good eating there. So, the fact that you don’t eat grains explains why the Paleo Granola has no grains in it.
Before going further, I need to tell you that I bought it from my local grocer who had a girl passing out samples. I tried one and was blown away by the taste. A party in my mouth! I went right back and picked up a package. I am now on my third one.
Okay, so what is in Paleo Granola?
The ingredients are Organic almonds, organic sunflower seeds, almond flour, organic cashews, organic walnuts, maple syrup, organic flax seeds, organic coconut oil, organic raisins, vanilla, organic coconut flakes, spices and salt.
Here is the nutrition breakdown:
Serving size 2 ounces, 57 grams
Total fat 23 grams
Saturated fat 8 grams
No Trans fat
Sodium 16 mg
Dietary fiber 4 grams
Sugar 11 grams
Protein 7 grams
A quick comparison with a regular granola, puts Paleo slightly higher on calories, a lot higher on total fat, due to the nuts and coconut, way down on sodium and higher on fiber and protein. Not a bad tradeoff, I think.
Although I am a big granola fan and have a bowl almost every day. I have found that I like the taste of this Paleo mixture so much that I use it as a snack and sometimes take chunks of it with me for energy breaks when I ride the bike.
While I usually refrain from writing up local products that are not available to readers of an international blog, I did this one because I thought you might enjoy being exposed to the concept of granola sans grains. Also, resourceful readers might even try to make it on their own with a little experimentation. You have all the ingredients.
If anyone does try to make their own, I hope you will share your experience with the blog.
For Neil Diamond fans, here is the best audio version I could find on You Tube:
Unfortunately, a lot of folks don’t eat very many nuts because they fear high calorie counts and high fat content.
The key to including nuts in your diet is to pay attention to portion size. If you sit down with a big bag of nuts and eat them all, you are going to have a weight problem. On the other hand, if you measure out a serving of nuts and put away the bag you will be giving yourself high quality protein, fiber and essential fats. Healthy fats contribute to a ‘full feeling’ when eaten. If you take your time eating, you can enjoy the taste and nutritional benefits of nuts without any weight problems.
WHfoods.org had this to say about nuts, “Although nuts are known to provide a variety of cardio-protective benefits, many avoid them for fear of weight gain. A prospective study published in the journal Obesity shows such fears are groundless. In fact, people who eat nuts at least twice a week are much less likely to gain weight than those who almost never eat nuts.
“The 28-month study involving 8,865 adult men and women in Spain, found that participants who ate nuts at least two times per week were 31% less likely to gain weight than were participants who never or almost never ate nuts.
“And, among the study participants who gained weight, those who never or almost never ate nuts gained more (an average of 424 g more) than those who ate nuts at least twice weekly.
“Study authors concluded, “Frequent nut consumption was associated with a reduced risk of weight gain (5 kg or more). These results support the recommendation of nut consumption as an important component of a cardioprotective diet and also allay fears of possible weight gain.”
A new study has found that women who ate peanut butter and other forms of nuts during their childhood years were less likely to develop breast disease later in life.
So, be a fully-informed consumer, don’t avoid a nutritious food like nuts because of a fear of high calories or fat content.