Many people shy away from eating nuts because of their high fat content, but these fats are mostly unsaturated fats, especially monounsaturated fat. This type of fat actually decreases the level of "bad" LDL cholesterol and helps maintain the desirable levels of "good" HDL cholesterol. The April 2001 issue of Metabolism reports that a diet rich in nuts, vegetables, and fruits may reduce cholesterol levels as much as medication!
You will be interested to know that in several studies weight gain was not a problem when subjects were fed nuts in their balanced diet.
A Loma Linda University study showed that those who consumed nuts five times a week had about a 50% reduction in the risk of heart attack That information alone should make all of us want to include nuts in our diet! Studies also show that nuts may also help reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes and the phytochemical and phytosterol content of nuts help fight some forms of cancer.
A few handfuls of raw nuts as a snack food are completely satisfying and the protein and fat not only satisfy the hunger, but give lots of energy. And nuts also contain potassium, magnesium, iron, phosphorous, zinc, vitamin E, selenium, copper, calcium and thiamin. By eating a mixture of nuts, you will get a variety of important vitamins and minerals.
In addition to the above, here are some specifics about the various nuts.
Pecans are a good source of vitamin B1, protein, magnesium, oleic acid, and fiber. They are also believed to be helpful in fighting some cancers.
Almonds contain calcium and magnesium for strong bones, vitamin E, and compounds called phytochemicals which are believed to help protect against cardiovascular disease and even cancer! And they are naturally gluten free!
Walnuts also contain a range of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin A, potassium, and magnesium. Studies in Tokyo, Barcelona, as well as the Loma Linda study, verify that walnuts added to the diet significantly lowered the LDL cholesterol.
Hazelnuts (filberts) are rich in Vitamin E, folate, minerals, protein, calcium and high in monounsaturated fat. They have the highest content of proanthocyandin, helping the risk of blood clotting and urinary tract infection. 1.5 oz of hazelnuts per day is believed to help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, and like almonds, they are gluten free.
Brazil nuts are 17% protein, and very high in selenium, perhaps over 200 times more than in most foods. They also contain potassium, phosphorus, calcium, and Vitamin B.
Peanuts and pistachios provide a good source of B vitamins essential for energy, protein metabolism, and the synthesis of red blood cells.
How many nuts should we eat? This is what the Department of Agriculture recommends: One serving of nuts equals about 28 peanuts, 22 almonds, 20 pecan halves, 18 cashews, 14 walnut halves, 7 brazil nuts, 20 hazelnuts, 12 macadamia nuts, 47 pistachios, or two tablespoons of peanut butter.
Federal ID #91-2143303
A Non-Profit 501(c)3 Organization
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"To foster and encourage the interest of the general public of the importance of nuts in the diets of humans throughout history and in the evolution of the nutcracker. No other tool or collectible has shown such a wide diversity of material and design as the implements used to crack the hard shell of a nut"
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