Nutty Health News by Maria Dorfner

I love almonds.  I go nuts if I don’t have some around.  It’s my daily snack of choice.

So, I’m thrilled whenever more studies confirm what I already know to be true. They’re good for you.  The British Journal of Nutrition found almond’s fiber blocks absorption of some of the nut’s fats.  They’re also loaded with protein and high in antioxidants.  23 each day are recommended.  Some of the health benefits include that they are packed with fiber, which physically make you feel full.

They also help regulate blood sugar, which helps prevent sugar crashes or spikes in your appetite.  Studies found people with type 2 diabetes who consume them experience a smaller rise in blood sugar and insulin levels than people who had a meal without almonds. People who consume them regularly also have an increase of HDL cholesterol levels, the good kind. They also show a decrease in LDL cholesterol, the bad kind.  They keep your skin youthful looking too and your muscles lean.

 If almonds aren’t your thing, here are more nutty choices, which contain more HDL (good) cholesterol and lower levels of inflammation in the body.

My next favorite nut (we’re talking food, not people) is walnuts.  My Dad loves cracking these open.  When I was a kid, it was fun to watch him as I waited to get the prize.  That was always fun.

I buy mine already cracked open (sorry Dad).  Walnuts are also loaded with antioxidants and they’re a great brain food.  Walnuts contain up to 20 percent protein and contain linoleic and alpha-linoleic acids, omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, vitamin E, B6, so they’re a fantastic source of nourishment for your nervous system.  A healthy nervous system means clearer thinking.  There is also research that says if you’re low in omega-3-rich foods, it may lead to depression.  So, walnuts may improve your mood, as well as your mind and brain power.

In fact, they look like a little brain, which will remind you of the good you’re doing while snacking on them, or it will gross you out, in which case there are more nuts on this list for you to choose from.

My brother’s girlfriend once made a salad in California that was beyond yummy. Turns out, her secret ingredient was GLAZED WALNUTS.  Super YUMMY.  She showed me the bag. All she did was toss ’em into the greens. Presto. Beyond delicious salad.

But like all things that are too good to be true, I quickly learned GLAZED is another word for SUGAR, CORN SYRUP and OIL (not the good kind).

Glazed Walnuts are SO good, I could eat them right out of the bag.  NOT good. Glazed walnuts contain 62% fat, 33% carbs, and 140 calories per serving.  They will cause a sugar rush.  Bad for your teeth.  Bad for your health.  And you know “per serving” is a delicate number like 5 or eight tops,  instead of the handful you want to graze.

My recommendation is do not snack on Glazed Walnuts. Some high end golf resorts (that shall remain nameless) put these in bowls while you wait for lunch.  Avoid them.  Seriously, it’s sugar in a bowl.  They are still yummy to toss into a large salad.  For snacking, stick with Natural Walnuts and Almonds. No salt. No sugar.  NATURAL.

Pecans are another good nut choice because they’re high in antioxidants.

Pistachios are another good choice.  People who eat pistachios eat less calories overall.

Hazelnuts are a good choice because they keep you satisfied longer.

Get creative with nuts.  You can add them to your oatmeal or cereal in the morning.  Toss them into yogurt.  You can even toss them into your favorite pasta dish or serve them on the side of any meal.  Otherwise, a handful in a bowl by your computer or television will keep you snacking on healthy foods instead of chips.

[photo:  greek yogurt with blueberries and almonds]

Healthy Snacking!

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