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Nuts Got a Bad Rap

 

In recent history, nuts were given a bad rap – viewed as merely a snack food that when eaten too frequently or in large amounts is unhealthy and will make you gain weight. In this article, we explore those old myths and provide current understandings of the health impact of nuts. Spoiler alert: You don't gain weight, but instead gain health benefits.

For years we were lead to believe that it's the fats in food that cause weight gain. However, more recent research has found that sugar is likely the culprit. Most importantly though, it's the type of fats we consume that makes the difference. Trans fats and saturated fats, as well as fried foods and packaged food that contain altered fats, can lead to high cholesterol and weight gain. Good fats, on the other hand, found in foods such as nuts, seeds, avocados, and olives, are health-promoting, and when eaten in moderation don't lead to weight gain. Fats in nuts and seeds are primarily monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats – both of which help to lower bad cholesterol, are heart-healthy. 

Nuts are highly satiating, meaning a small amount can make you feel full. When we're tasting our products for quality and texture, we inevitably reach a point where we can’t eat another nut. This is one of the theories behind why regular nut consumption does not cause weight gain. Nuts are full of fiber, protein, and yes, fat – all of which make you feel full faster and you are therefore less likely to overeat. Adding them to your daily meals can help you to decrease the overall quantity of your meals while adding additional nutrients. 

Health Benefits of Nuts

A number of studies have found that diets high in nuts do not significantly affect weight gain or weight loss. Instead, research shows people who eat nuts are healthier and live longer, likely because nuts help to prevent a number of different diseases. Nuts are cardio-protective, helping to lower blood pressure, improve blood vessel function, and protect you from heart-related diseases. Additionally, regular nut consumption has been shown to protect against cancer, respiratory disease, and diabetes.  

It’s worth noting that some nuts on the market don’t fall into the category of “healthy.” Nuts roasted on high temperatures can damage healthy fats, and flavored nuts tend to be high in sugar, added salt and artificial flavorings. Of course, we’re fans of our own nuts and stand behind our soaking process, the quality of our nuts, the spices we use for flavoring, and our slow roasting process that make us one of the healthiest nuts on the market – but if you do have to purchase other nuts and seeds, raw or dry-roasted is better than over-roasted and artificial flavorings. 

Don’t Go Nuts on Nuts

Nuts and seeds contain an array of healthy nutrients. You only need about 1/4 cup to gain their benefits. They can be included in a balanced diet of fresh fruits and vegetables, legumes, and grains. In addition to snacking, one of our favorite ways to eat nuts and seeds is with our regular meals. Soon we’ll be posting blogs about culinary creations that use Gather Nuts.