17 May 2016 It’s Time to Go Nuts and Get Seedy
If you haven’t already gone nuts or seedy, then it’s time. Research suggests that including nuts and seeds in the diet lowers the risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, abdominal obesity, cancer, heart disease and lung disease. In fact, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved food label health claims that state: Eating 1½ oz per day of most nuts as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol may reduce the risk of heart disease.
Worried about the calories? Although nuts are dense in calories, studies have actually found an inverse association between nut consumption and BMI or weight gain. One study showed that individuals who ate at least ¼ oz per day of tree nuts had lower weight and waist circumference than those who did not. This may be because nuts are high in protein, fat and fiber so you stay satisfied longer and might eat less later.
Pay attention to the following calorie content so you don’t overdo it:
|Almonds||23 nuts per oz||164 calories|
|Cashews||18 nuts per oz||157 calories|
|Hazelnuts||21 nuts per oz||178 calories|
|Peanuts||30 nuts per oz||161 calories|
|Pecans||19 halves per oz||196 calories|
|Pine nuts||3½ Tbsp per oz||191 calories|
|Pistachios||49 kernels per oz||158 calories|
|Walnuts||14 halves per oz||146 calories|
|Chia seeds||2 Tbsp per oz||138 calories|
|Flax seeds||4 Tbsp ground per oz||150 calories|
|Sesame seeds||3Tbsp + 2 tsp per oz||160 calories|
|Sunflower seeds||3 Tbsp +2 tsp per oz||164 calories|
*Note: The household measurement quantities are approximate due to varying sizes of nuts and seeds.
Interesting facts about nuts and seeds from the American Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics:
- California produces 80% of the world’s almond supply.
- Chia seeds come from the desert plant Salvia hispanica, a member of the mint family.
- Peanuts are technically a legume. They pack the most protein at 7 grams per oz.
- A study showed that subjects eating in-shell pistachios consumed 40% fewer calories than those eating shelled pistachio kernels.
- Sesame seeds are especially high in sterols that lower cholesterol.
- Walnuts have the highest antioxidant content of the tree nuts. They also contain melatonin which is important for sleep regulation.
Ideas for including nuts and seeds:
- Toss a Tbsp of chia or pumpkin seeds into your breakfast smoothie.
- Mix a Tbsp of almonds with a Tbsp of dark chocolate for a crunchy snack.
- Enjoy nuts and seeds in salads to add a healthy crunch.
- Mix walnuts, almonds or peanuts with dried fruit for a simple trail mix.
- Put ¼ cup nuts into baggies for a quick snack on the go.
- Toast walnuts, almond slivers or pine nuts to release their rich flavor. Dry sauté on the stovetop or toast in oven. When you start to smell the aroma, they are done.
- Add ground flaxseed or chia seed to cereal, yogurt or smoothies.
- Sprinkle ground flaxseed or chia seed on top of cooked veggies to add a nutty flavor.
Go nuts and get seedy. Your health will benefit from them!Have questions or comments about this post? Please feel free to comment on MyNetDiary's Community Forum or Facebook page – We would love to hear from you. And consider visiting our new Pinterest page!
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