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June 12 2015 – Blog Update
A paper published in the International Journal of Epidemiology links the consumption of whole nuts and peanuts (and therefore not their respective butters such as peanut butter) with potential protective properties guarding us against death from cancer, heart disease among others. Eating at least 10g of nuts or peanuts (peanuts are legumes, i.e. they belong to the pea family) daily appears to be enough. 10g is less than a small handful, 15g is better but any higher offers no additional benefits according to the study authors.
Why not peanut butter? Most peanut butters we buy from supermarket shelves is full of salt, added sugar, palm oil and other unhealthy ingredients which may negate the healthful effect of peanuts. They also contain transfats, although I need to look into this more as I am uncertain as to whether the study is suggesting that they are added or the process of making peanut butter converts the natural fats in peanuts into transfats. I always advise clients to buy 100% peanut butter anyway (with zero added). There are now many brands out there, and some available in the supermarket (such as Meridian).
You can read more about this study here.
March 6 2015
Snacking on nuts is good for your health. Population-based studies show that nut consumption is linked with good heart health and longer living. The study below relates to peanuts, which isn’t a true nut; however, nutritionally, they are similar albeit cheaper to buy. Snacking on 25-30g of mixed, unsalted, raw nuts per day rather than crisps or sugar-packed cereal bars is one great change you can make to your diet!
Nuts are calorie-dense, which means if you are on a calorie-controlled diet, you wouldn’t want to include too many of them. However, they are great sources of essential fats, minerals, dietary fibre and protein, and so should definitely form part of your daily eating plan. Snacking on nuts are more likely to help you feel full for longer than snacking on crisps, cereal bars or biscuits.
Seb is a writer and blogger of food and nutrition. He holds a bachelors and a masters degree in nutrition science, and has studied sports and exercise nutrition at postgraduate level. He specialises in plant-based nutrition and believes passionately that we can all live with a little less meat. He writes for www.veggieandspice.com and www.itsaboutnutrition.com