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Unwise, Better, Best: Nuts

Posted on Oct 17, 2017 by Felicia Spence, R.D.








 

Nuts are a nutritious addition to your dietary pattern. Studies show that eating 1 to 2 handfuls of nuts per day result in these outcomes: no weight gain at all, less weight gain than predicted, or weight loss. Any nut works, whether it’s walnuts, pistachios, pecans, or Brazil nuts. You can stock your pantry with whichever kind you prefer, and incorporate them into your FitBite mix.

 

UNWISE:  Candy-coated, glazed, or salted nuts. Quality calories are the goal and we should choose nuts where the only ingredient is the nut. When comparing these unwise nuts to eat the best nuts, the caloric amount may be the same but the added sugar and fat can crowd out the nutrient density of the nut. Salt intake impacts the integrity of your arteries, and those that are sodium sensitive will have to be mindful about their purchases to avoid fluctuations in their blood pressure.

 

BETTER:  Shelled nuts. At H3, the 100 calorie nut packs are a staple on the FitBite station. The one-and-done packages are great because the bag is calorie controlled and there is a cue to stop eating – when nothing is left in the bag! Be purposeful with nuts that come in large containers. We want to spend some time portioning out our nut FitBites, so we have a better way to self-monitor intake.

 

BEST:  Unsalted nuts in the shell. Nuts in the shell are great because it allows you to eat them mindfully. The act of cracking the nut allows us to engage with the food and extends the time of the eating occasion. The sound of the shell cracking, feeling the texture of the shell and working to get the morsel of nut helps you reach satiety faster because you are utilizing all of your senses.

 

Nuts are versatile as well. You can have them “as is” or add them to meals like salads. They can be ground up and put into sauces like pesto or a cashew cream. Nuts are also great in smoothies and topping off hot cereals like oatmeal. Stock up your pantry with 2-4 different nuts and have fun exploring how you can incorporate them into your dietary pattern! 

 


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