Monday, September 19, 2011

Nuts about Nuts!

I have always been one who is crazy about nuts.  When I started doing some research during nutrition classes, I came to find that nuts are some of the most nutrient-dense foods on this planet (seeds are as well, but that'll be another post...).  Many diet-conscious people seem to stay away from nuts because of their high calorie and fat content.  The fun fact about nuts, though, is that the fats (mainly mono- and poly- unsaturated fats) that nuts are comprised of can actually lead to weight loss!  Research has shown that these healthy fats can actually lower blood pressure, reduce HDL (or "bad" cholesterol), and raise LDL (or "good" cholesterol) levels!

The link posted above gives some of the recent research that dietitians have done to prove how amazingly beneficial nuts are to your health!

Personally, walnuts, almonds, and peanuts are among my favorites; but in all actuality I love them all.  Ask anyone who knows me and my eating habits and they will tell you that there is not one day that goes by in which I do not eat either nuts or seeds.  I believe in getting most of my protein and fat from plant sources (like beans/legumes, nuts, seeds, and oils like olive and grape small tangent- you can get a lot of the healthy fat benefits of nuts by substituting nut oils for other fats/oils in a recipe.  Just keep in mind that nut oils go rancid quickly, so keep them in a cool dry place, use within 6 months, and do not over-heat.  It is best to use nut oils in baking or dressing salads or to foods after cooking.)

Luana ola!