The Good And The Bad About Nuts

DO YOU GO NUTS OVER NUTS?

When I put out a bowl of nuts for a family gather or a party, they are always the first thing to go! Big fat cashews – forget about it! Those aren’t going to last 10 minutes in our household! At least nuts are better for you than potato chips or candy, right? Right?

Well, you’re going to get sick of me telling you this, but it all depends on your Diet Type. Let’s take a look at nuts. The good definitely outweighs the bad!

THE GOOD:

• Nuts contain healthy monounsaturated fats, which have been shown to protect the heart by lowering “bad” or LDL cholesterol and help raise “good” or HDL cholesterol.

• Researchers also believe that these monounsaturated fats help prevent diabetes by building healthier cell membranes creating more efficient doorways for blood sugar to enter.

• They also contain essential omega-3 fatty acids, which provide anti-inflammatory protection against heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer, and autoimmune diseases.

• Nuts are full of Vitamin E, selenium, and magnesium, which provide additional protection against diabetes and heart disease.

• Nuts taste great, are cholesterol-free, and full of important nutrients such as protein and fiber. The protein content is about 10-25%, which make them a good substitute for meat for Otters and Lions.

• National heart associations are now even recommending daily consumption of nuts for prevention.

• Nuts are slow-glycemic foods – IE they take longer to burn in the system, so they would be good choices for Otters and Lions.

THE BAD:

• Nuts are high in calories. So remember those nuts I put out on the table for my guests? If you consumed 1/4 cup of cashews (or about 1 ounce), you’d be taking in 160 calories. If you are not burning off what you are taking in, large consumption of nuts can quickly put on the pounds!

• Nuts are high in fats. As I stated above, that is also a good thing, because they are high in mono-unsaturated fats (the good fats), however, if you are following a Monkey or a Giraffe Diet, you will not be able to consume very nuts each day due to the high fat content.

So go nuts with nuts – as long as you are a Lion or an Otter! Add nuts to your foods for added flavor, fiber, and essential fats and nutrients. Just be careful how much you add. They are a great addition to stir-fry, green salad, desserts, snack mixes, chicken salad, muffins, oatmeal, or atop your favorite yogurt. For you Bears, Monkeys, and Giraffes, use them sparingly. They are energy-packed and nutrient dense. But they are not something that any of us should be eating ad lib – or we will soon be packing on the pounds! Too much of a good thing is still bad!