Nuts

18 reasons to start using more nuts

Acceptance of nuts by many consumers still is hindered by the fact that they are calorically dense, in spite of their having earned a reputation as a healthy food among nutritionists and health professionals.

As a way to get consumers more interested in nuts, processors would do well to focus less on apologetic marketing of nuts and more on the concept of replacing high-fat, nutrient-poor modern snacks with better quality fats from these nutrient-rich little sources.

Epidemiological evidence reveals a different picture from the one still adhered to by many consumers and processors of better-for-you foods.

Nuts are seeds that store energy as fat, and fat yields 9 kcals/g. Calories, however do not tell the complete story of nuts as a beneficial food. That’s where we come in. We’ve uncovered 18 fun and interesting facts about nuts and how processors can use them in their next new products.

  • Nuts are among the healthiest ingredients around. In moderate amounts (we all know how easy it is to eat an entire 1,280-calorie tin of roasted salted cashews in a single sitting) nuts are a boon to health from multiple perspectives and deserve their place on the plate of those looking to maintain health and a healthy body weight.

Ongoing studies continue to add notches to the nut knowledge belt. According to a recent review published just a few months ago in the scientific journal Nutrition, the benefits of nuts span four interrelated areas:

  • Nuts contain powerful antioxidants that can lower the impact of dangerous free radicals, molecules that can be damaging to membranes, proteins, and even DNA.
  • Nuts tend to reduce plasma cholesterol levels among persons who enjoy them as routine dietary components.
  • Nuts tend to lower the risk of cardiovascular disease independent of lipid profiles.
  • Nuts aid in weight control, specifically through a satiety factor that outweighs the caloric load.
  • Nuts are a good source of minerals — especially potassium, calcium, selenium and iron — plus bioavailable protein.

The American Heart Association has recommended use of nuts for their cardioprotective benefits since 2000 due the consistent link between nut consumption and a lower risk of cardiovascular disease. This brings us to…

  • Frequent nut consumption has been associated with lower BMI, lower blood pressure and protection against fatal and non-fatal coronary heart disease.

The FDA recently recognised nuts as “heart-healthy,” and for good reason.

  • By weight, nuts are 45-75 percent fat; however, the fat content in perennial favourites such as almonds, hazelnuts, pecans, cashews, peanuts, macadamia nuts and pistachios is made up of primarily unsaturated fatty acids from the omega-6 and omega-9 families…..

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