Are Nuts Healthy?
For many years nuts were not recommended for people interested in losing weight and staying healthy. However, recent studies have shown that including a variety of nuts in your diet can have significant health benefits and can actually help you lose weight.
On first inspection nuts seem less than ideal for healthy diets due to their high fat and caloric content. Typically one ounce of nuts can contain from 150 to 200 calories. The majority of these calories come from fat. Nuts are commonly salted as well, making them high in sodium, which has been linked to high blood pressure.
However, closer analysis of nuts reveals several important features that make them far healthier than traditional snack foods. First, the fats in nuts are predominantly unsaturated fats. According to the Mayo Clinic, unsaturated fats have been proven to lower blood cholesterol levels, reducing the risk for heart disease. Second, nuts are very high in fiber and protein, both of which suppress hunger. Therefore when you consume nuts, you feel full and continue feeling full longer between meals, reducing the likelihood of consuming other less healthy snacks like chips or cookies. Nuts also contain plant sterols that can help lower cholesterol as well as antioxidants, vitamin E, copper, magnesium, and other nutrients. Many nuts also have high levels of omega-3 fatty acids, which have been proven to lower triglycerides and blood pressure, and slow the development of arterial plaque, all heart-healthy benefits. Correlations have also been observed between consumption of nuts and reduced incidences of other diseases including diabetes, respiratory disease, and various forms of cancer.
Everything in Moderation
Although nuts have tremendous potential to improve overall health and help with weight loss, they should only be enjoyed in moderation. Despite the presence of healthy monounsaturated fats, consuming any fat in excess can lead to weight gain and related health problems. Similarly, nuts are fairly dense calorically. It is important to monitor caloric intake closely to avoid unexpected weight gain. Unfortunately, in may social settings like bars and restaurants, nuts are served in large bowls, making it easy to inadvertently consume too many nuts. Like so many other foods, the key to reaping the most benefit from nuts is portion control. The recommended daily serving of nuts is one ounce, or approximately one handful per day.
At Christophe’s To Go we offer several deliciously crunchy ways to enjoy certified organic nuts like Nicobella Organics Coco-Nut Munch. The next time you’re looking for a satisfying snack, forget about potato chips, candy, or baked goods. Instead, make a healthier choice: visit our stores and go nuts!