A Guide to Nuts – Understanding Their Nutritional Role
“I Will Gain Weight!”
Tracing back 780,000 years ago, nuts have been a major part of optimum nutrition in the human diet. But still many people don’t eat them because they “are full of fat” or “I will gain weight if I eat nuts”.
Loaded With the Essential Fatty Acids
Loaded with the essential fatty acids (linoleic and linolenic), nuts mostly contain unsaturated fats, including monounsaturated fats. They also provide a substance called Arginine that may help make the walls of the arteries more flexible and less prone to blockage from blood clot formation.
Nuts in Their Raw Form are The Most Healthy
Most are a rich source of vitamins B2 and E, protein, fiber, folate, and essential minerals such as magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, selenium and copper. A nut in its raw form is the most healthy because up to 15% of the healthy oils that naturally occur in nuts are lost during the roasting process. Roasting at high temperatures may also cause chemicals that advance the aging process. Raw walnuts were found to have twice as many antioxidants than the other types.
Important Part of The Diet For Vegans and Vegetarians
The most consumed types are peanuts, almonds, walnuts and pecans. Almonds have the least fat (15 grams per ounce, dry-roasted and unsalted) and macadamia nuts higher (21 grams per ounce, dry-roasted and unsalted). It is the good fat though, monounsaturated fat and omega-3s which are important for heart health, as well as fiber and vitamin E. This makes them a very important part of the diet for vegans and vegetarians.
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