Come on join me. I have a jar on my desk filled with them. They make the perfect snack. Satisfying, crunchy and just the thing when you have that ‘I’m hungry but don’t want a piece of fruit feeling’ – you know what I mean don’t you?
But more than a convenient snack nuts are actually good for you too. You might remember a time when nuts were taboo in a healthy diet – I certainly do. Too high in fat and kilojoules was what I learnt in my University days. But as with many things to do with health, things change as research puts more of the pieces together for us.
In a nutshell (pardon the pun) we now know that nuts:
- Won’t make you fat: researchers looking at the diets of over 50 000 women over the course of 8 years found that women who ate nuts more often were more likely to be leaner than those who didn’t.
- Are good for your heart: a handful of nuts (around 30 grams) eaten at least five times a week can cut your risk of heart disease by as much as 50% plus keep blood cholesterol down.
- Might help you live longer: in one of the largest studies of its kind (over 115 000 men and women followed up for over 30 years) scientists found those eating nuts daily were more likely to live longer than those who didn’t.
And the secret to healthy nut eating my friends is to enjoy them unsalted and in small amounts – a handful or around 30 grams makes a satisfying snack for most of us and will take the edge off hunger.
If you want to know more, why not visit the website of Nuts For Life maintained by the Australian tree nut industry. They’ve plenty of great easy to read fact sheets to download plus loads of recipes.
And if you like visuals, take a look at this Quick Take video by the prestigious publication The New England Journal of Medicine which explains the results of the most recent study on nut eating and mortality (AKA death).
Finally, if you like a nut based snack with a bit of pizzazz, hop on over to Scoop Nutrition where Emma has a real treat for you!
References: Am J Clin Nutr. 2009;89:1913–9. Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis. 2001;11(6):372–7. N Engl J Med. 2013;369:2001-2011