Nuts have long been underrated and many tend to dismiss them when it comes to a healthy diet. The top reason for this is that nuts are deemed as unhealthy and fattening. Well, let’s get to the bottom of that.
Including cashews, almonds, pecan and other nuts in your diet is a good idea as these underrated tiny little things pack quite the nutritious punch.
|Nuts||Serving (1 oz)||Protein (g)||Fat (g)||Calories (kcal)|
|Peanuts||28 whole nuts||7.3||14||14|
So from the table you can see almonds, cashews and peanuts are lower in calories while macadamia, walnuts and pecan nuts are highly calorific – add to the fact that they have lower amounts of protein and higher amounts of fat. However, you can still eat them, provided they are consumed in limited quantities. Peanuts stand out with a slightly higher protein content than macadamias and pecans.
Now, here’s some good news for you snack fiends. You know that afternoon lull when you start to feel peckish and need a little pick-me-up? And how most of the time, what you’ll reach for is that fat-laden snack or that sugary something to satisfy your sweet tooth? Well, here’s how you can still snack without compromising on your good intentions to eat healthily – reach for those nuts.
Satiate hunger for a longer time!
Nuts have been found to be able to help people feel full for a longer duration when compared to eating other foods. This is said to be because of the protein and fibre present in them.
A few studies show that people tend to stick to their diet plan if they are allowed to snack on nuts, now isn’t that a good thing?
Positively alters LDL and HDL levels
Nuts have been found to lower LDL, or bad cholesterol levels, and raise or improve the HDL, or good cholesterol levels, in the body. You will be better off trading saturated fats and carbohydrates for these nuts, as LDL levels will surely go down when you consume nuts.
Certain precautions are however necessary – over snacking is bad at all times, be it any food. The same applies to nuts. Here’s what you can do to prevent yourself from ‘accidentally’ binging on nuts!
- Pre-determine the portion size of the nuts you are going to consume
- Eating nuts with shells can make you eat less of it
- Take out the required amount of nuts in your hand and put the box or packet away
- Include salads in your diet and top it with nuts – all the more tasty
- Croutons in soups can be replaced by nuts
- 1 oz of nuts a day helps you gain all the health benefits
Nuts contain fat, yes, but don’t worry, it’s the good kind of fat. The calories do add up though so be aware of how many you’re consuming. It is also advisable to consume nuts as they are and not in their “adulterated” versions i.e. salted or flavoured. Extra salt is always bad and roasted nuts undergo heat treatments that strip them of their nutrients. The best way to enjoy nuts is to eat them raw or dry-roasting them.
So, it is all good with nuts, as long as you snack on them responsibly. Binge eating of any kind is not good so keep in mind those precautions and help yourself have a healthy mind and body.