Tue | Nov 20, 2018

Fit 4 Life | Going nuts for good nutrition

Published:Wednesday | October 17, 2018 | 12:16 AMMarvin Gordon
Nuts are among the most nutritionally balanced foods.

 

They will drive calorie counters nuts. The high fat content and the huge number of calories seem to scream 'don't eat me'. If you have been avoiding those 'fatty' nuts, however, it's time to rethink your nutrition plan. Nuts are nutrient-dense health foods that make for tasty, filling snacks.

The main complaint against nuts is that they are high in fat. Nuts are among the most nutritionally balanced foods.

They are balanced even in the fats they contain - most nuts have more unsaturated fats than they do saturated fats and contain both polyunsaturated and monounsaturated varieties. Balanced fat consumption is paramount for the healthy function of the body.

Nuts are more than fat, though. Most nuts have a high protein content as well as a variety of micronutrients (vitamins, minerals, antioxidant, etc).

OTHER BENEFITS INCLUDE:

Nuts have been shown by numerous studies to reduce cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

Nuts are high in fibre.

Studies also suggest that nuts reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke.

Try these nuts commonly available in Jamaica.

PEANUTS

Peanuts are among the most widely available nuts. They are also much cheaper than other nuts. Cheap doesn't mean valueless, though. Peanuts pack more proteins than other nuts and are high in monounsaturated fat, which provides a host of health benefits.

Peanuts are available in many forms, such as peanut butter. Avoid overly processed varieties, however; choose raw peanuts over salted, honeyed, or other recipes which may compromise nutrient balance and go for natural, unsweetened peanut butter.

NUTRITION FACTS:

Serving Size: 35g

Amount per serving:

Calories: 166

Total Fat: 14.1g

Total Carb: 6.1g

Protein: 6.7g

Fiber: 2.3g

Vitamins/minerals:

Potassium

Phosphorous

Calcium

Magnesium

Niacin

Vitamin E

Folate

Nutrition per 2-tbsp serving of peanut butter:

190 calories

7g protein

16g fat

6g carbs

2g fiber

ALMONDS

Almonds are becoming more and more popular as a health food, and with good reason. While they have slightly less protein than peanuts, their high monounsaturated fat content and high levels of vitamin E and magnesium make them hard to ignore when discussing health foods. As with any other nut, natural is the way to go.

NUTRITION FACTS:

Serving Size: 22

Amount per serving:

Calories: 169

Total Fat: 14.8g

Total Carb: 8.3g

Protein: 5.9g

Vitamins/minerals:

Riboflavin

Vitamin E

Calcium

Magnesium

Phosphorus

Zinc

CASHEWS

Cashews contain less protein and healthy fat than almonds and peanuts, but they also pack (slightly) fewer calories and are rich in minerals such as iron and zinc.

NUTRITION FACTS:

Serving size: 18 halves

Amount per serving:

Calories: 163

Total Fat: 13.1g

Total Carb: 9.2

Protein: 4.3g

Omega-3 Fatty Acids: 7.7g

Fiber: 1g

Vitamins/Minerals:

Thiamine

Vitamin B6

Iron

Magnesium

Manganese

Phosphorus

Zinc

- Marvin Gordon is a fitness coach; email: marvin.gordon@physiqueandfunction.com; yourhealth@gleanerjm.com