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That's Nuts

We always knew they tasted good. Then we started to get an idea they were good for you.  Now, maybe we are getting the idea they are great for you.


Most of the reasons we thought nuts were good for you started when we started figuring out the micronutrients in food.  Macronutrients are the protein, fat, and carbohydrates.  Micronutrients are the vitamins and minerals.


When all we knew about was calories and macronutrients, we thought they had a lot of fat and were high in calories.  Now we know the fat is mostly monounsaturated, which is really good.  There are some odd things about that high in calories part.  Most foods that have a high density of calories (calories per the actual weight of the food) lead us to gain weight – but not nuts.  Many different studies show nuts are good for losing or maintaining weight.  Part of that is now believed that much of the nut’s calories are not absorbed because of the fibrous husks (see ‘When is a calorie not a calorie?’ post).

There are a lot more benefits.  We will be here all day if I don’t go quicker through the other benefits of nuts.

·         They are high in antioxidants.

·         They are high in micronutrients (different micronutrients for different nuts, so eat a variety)

·         Many studies have shown them to be good for your lipid profile – lowering LDL and triglycerides and even raising HDL.  This may be because they are high in selenium.

·         They are good for metabolic syndrome and type II diabetes.  One 12-week study showed that fasting blood sugar was lowered by 9% by eating 1 ounce of pistachios.

·         Nuts may reduce inflammation.  It’s all about inflammation these days.  In one study of people on a Mediterranean diet, when nuts were added, inflammatory markers were lower by more than 39%.

·         They are high in fiber and good for your gut.  So, they are probiotic.  Remember that blog about your gut?

·         Nuts may reduce your chances of heart attack and stroke.  Studies show that nuts reduced the amount of more small, dense blood lipoproteins (those are the really bad ones).


With that list of good things, I would consider eating them if they tasted bad. Luckily, nuts are delicious.

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