Nuts Are Great
I know as I am with you, Christmas and New Year have just gone and we ate and drank way too much, so now we are thinking to ourselves, it is time to do something about it. Well you could start with a handful of Nuts!
A study at Harvard has shown that dieters who included nuts in their daily diet, where found to have lost more weight and kept it off longer than those who avoided eating nuts. It is believed that eating nuts regularly can actually help achieve, and maintain a healthy body weight. When you add nuts to a moderate fat, calorie controlled diet, nuts can help prevent weight gain, and help you stick to your healthy eating plan for longer.
I always thought that eating high fat foods like nuts were going to make me gain weight but actually it is the opposite, they can help us lose weight. It turns out that it is beneficial to our diet because nuts contain the healthy fat, fiber and proteins that make us feel fuller for longer, which is always an important factor when we are trying to lose weight. No one likes to feel hungry all the time, so adding a handful of nuts to a low calorie diet can help keep those hunger pains away.
Nuts are a really important source of vitamins and minerals, we know they are high in calories but they have a higher percentage of the unsaturated “good fats“, than saturated fats. They are also a terrific source of high quality plant protein and fiber, which can be extremely helpful when you are trying to lose weight. If you are trying to just be healthy then that is a bonus as unsaturated fats are found to help keep your heart and blood vessels healthy.
Since nuts are a plant food, they naturally contain no cholesterol.
So whether you are trying to be healthy, lose weight or maintain your current weight, you should consider adding a handful (10-12 nuts) of nuts to your daily diet. It will help you feel more satisfied, and you are helping your heart to be healthy, you never know they might even help us live longer.
How about some facts about several nut varieties
- Almonds - If you are looking for a snack that will satisfy your hunger then almonds are the way to go. A small handful will help meet some of your daily vitamin E, calcium and fiber needs.
- Walnuts - these are identified as being the only nut that contains a significant amount of Omega-3’s. No other nut comes close to the amount that the walnut contains. Walnuts are also known for their high antioxidant activity. So when trying to lose weight we are told that we should eat more antioxidant rich foods, so walnuts would be one to add to that list. Also select walnuts if you are trying to get your cholesterol levels down.
- Peanuts / Peanut Butter - Peanuts and snacking on pure Peanut Butter has been found to suppress your hunger for longer, without gaining weight. It is thought that because of peanuts high level of good fats, protein and fiber, when eating a snack of peanuts or replacing things like butter or cream cheese with peanut butter, it will make you feel fuller for longer. This has to be a good thing as if you are fuller for longer then you won’t need to eat more snacks which will cause you to gain weight.
In addition to the high amounts of unsaturated “good fats”, peanuts and peanut butter also contain Vitamin E, folate, potassium, magnesium, zinc and fiber, which are all thought to benefit our general health.
One small handful of peanuts contains 2 grams of fiber. This is 9% of the fiber you need each day!
All nuts are great and they all have their own benefits here are some other nuts that you could give a try:
- Macadamias: have a low level of carbohydrates
- Hazelnuts: they have the lowest amount of fat compared with other nuts. High levels of Vitamin E and K, Potassium, and Selenium
- Pine Nuts: High in protein.
- Cashew Nuts: High levels of Magnesium
- Pistachio Nuts: High levels of Protein, Iron and Potassium.
Enjoy a handful of nuts today!