Going nuts for nuts!

Nuts are nutrient powerhouses that provide protein, fibre, good fats, vitamins and minerals, which contribute to our overall health and wellbeing. There has been tremendous research into the benefits of eating raw, unsalted nuts. Research has shown that nuts can assist in weight management, reducing risk of cardiovascular disease, hypertension and diabetes.

Eat nuts for weight management and obesity:
Reducing appetite and satisfying hunger – the protein, fibre and fat all act to control appetite and food intake.

Increasing energy expenditure – 10% of the energy contained in nuts is used to fuel the process of digesting the nuts!

Nuts have a glycaemic Index-lowering effect – when mixed with carbohydrate foods in a meal, they slow digestion and the release of glucose into the blood stream giving a lower GI to the whole meal.

Including nuts in your healthy-eating plan can help with weight management and reduce the risk of developing obesity.

Eat nuts for reducing your risk of cardiovascular disease
A rich source of natural plant fibre – important for both lowering cholesterol and healthy bowel function.

A natural source of plant sterols which may help to lower blood cholesterol levels by reducing cholesterol absorption.

Eating a handful of nuts (30g) at least five times a week reduces the risk of developing heart disease by up to 50% compared to people who don’t eat nuts.

Two handfuls of nuts a day (around 60g) lowers blood cholesterol by 5% – and in particular ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol by 7%.

Eat nuts for reducing your risk of diabetes:
Insulin resistance can lead to weight gain – Nuts improve insulin sensitivity, via their healthy mono- and polyunsaturated fats. A handful of nuts (30g) at least five times a week reduces the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 27%, and improves blood glucose and insulin sensitivity.

People often avoid nuts due to the common misconception that their fat content leads to weight gain, Nuts are indeed a rich source of healthy mono and polyunsaturated “good” fats so it is important to exercise portion control when snacking on nuts. One daily portion is at least 30g or around a handful.

Here is a list of different nuts and how much they approximately equate to in a 30g serve:

20 almonds; 20 hazelnuts; 2 tablespoons pine nuts; 15 macadamias; 60 pistachios; 15 cashews; 15 pecans; 20 walnuts; 4 chestnuts.

So there you have it folks, Health benefits galore, get snacking now!