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Why nuts are good for you

Feeling guilty about that snack of mixed nuts you simply couldn’t resist? Don’t. There are good reasons to make nuts an essential part of your everyday diet.

One small thing:Add a handful of toasted almonds to your salads for a great nutritional boost.

For many years, nuts have had a bad reputation for being high in fat. But nuts actually contain the good source of fat that your body needs.

In general, nuts are made up of about 25% protein – while the fat type and content varies between nuts. Chestnuts contain very little fat, while walnuts and pecans are known for their heart-healthy omega-3 fat content.

Nuts are also naturally low in carbohydrate, which makes them a great snack option for people with diabetes.

Eating about 30-60g of nuts per day has been shown to improve blood cholesterol and reduce the risk of developing heart disease, especially when they replace added sugars and processed carbohydrates in a meal or snack.

6 ways to add more nuts to your diet
  1. Eating peanut butter is probably the easiest way to add more nuts to your diet – but you can also try macadamia, almond or cashew butters, as well as sesame butter (which is also known as tahini).
  2. Sneak more nuts into your diet by adding unsalted chopped nuts to hot or cold cereal, yoghurt, smoothies and muffins.
  3. Unsalted peanuts or pistachios can add a satisfying crunch to sandwiches. Just remember to crush or chop them so they don’t roll out when you take a bite.
  4. Add flaked almonds or pine nuts to salads, stir-fries, noodles, rice dishes or soup. Want to intensify the flavour? Try lightly roasting them – dry-fry the nuts over medium-to-high heat for 3-5 minutes. But a word of warning: nuts can burn quickly, so watch them carefully.
  5. When baking, substitute a portion of the wheat flour with ground nuts (e.g. almond flour). This does change the texture, so limit it to ¼ cup substitution.
  6. For a snack on the go, keep unsalted nuts in your desk drawer, car or handbag.

If you have a question for our dietitians, click here, or to find a dietitian in your area, visit adsa.org.za. To get in touch with us, email healthhotline@pnp.co.za.

References:
https://www.unlockfood.ca/en/Articles/Cooking-Food-Preparation/An-introduction-to-using-nuts.aspx