Nuts and Your Healthby Marie-Andrée Guimont
published January 18, 2010
To find out about the numerous health benefits of various nuts, we enlisted the help of Isabelle Huot, doctor in nutrition and host of the French-Canadian web site ConseilsNutrition.tv. What, exactly, do nuts offer to our overall health and diet? Read on to find out!
Huot insists that “nuts have, first and foremost, beneficial effects on heart health.” Studies have confirmed that consuming them five times per week reduces your risk of heart disease by 25-50%.
What’s more, nuts considerably help reduce blood cholesterol because they are high in fiber In addition,since nuts are rich in essential fatty acids, they do wonders for skin hydration!
Nuts are also a great choice to integrate into a healthy weightloss plan. Since they help satiate the appetite, they’re the perfect snack choice… without adding extra pounds to the scale!
That being said, they’re also very high in calories and fat (even if, in the case of nuts, it’s a matter of good fats). “Nuts are healthy, but must be consumed moderately,” warns Huot. “I recommend that women limit their consumption to an ounce—about 30 grams—per day.”
In regards to calorie consumption, we understand that eating nuts can very quickly add up to 200 calories but, given the amount of nuts that number is equivalent to, it’s not too much of an issue. Other studies have proven that eating nuts in the afternoon satiates us and allows us to eat less at dinner.
Which to choose?
The key is to consume the different types of nuts that exist. Each have their own unique properties: almonds are rich in calcium, walnuts are rich in Omega-3, Brazil nuts are rich in selenium (a nutritional element, indispensable for the functioning of our bodies ) and peanuts and pistachios contain good fats.
Adding them to your menu
“From entrée to dessert, and from breakfast to dinner, it is easy and delicious to add nuts,” says Huot. Plain or along with fruit, their high levels of protein and carbohydrates makes them an excellent snack option.
In the morning, add some to your cereal or yogurt. And for a healthy lunch, just sprinkle a few over your salad. As for dinner, how about some couscous decorated with almonds? “I just came back from Tunisia, and over there they serve green tea with pine nuts. It was delicious,” exclaims Huot.