Do you avoid eating too many nuts because you are afraid of gaining weight? If this is you, please read the rest of this post. You’ll be surprised at what you learn. Plus, eating nuts regularly can extend your lifespan. Well, isn’t that just nuts?
Which nuts and seeds should I eat?
There are tons to choose from. Here’s a list to get you started: almonds, brazil nuts, cashews, chia seeds, hazelnuts/filberts, hemp seeds, macadamia nuts, pecans, pistachios, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, and walnuts. If you are allergic to tree nuts, don’t fret, there are tons of seeds to choose from and even seed “butters” like sunbutter and tahini (made from ground sesame seeds).
How to eat them?
By the handful works pretty well 🙂 In all seriousness though, nuts and seeds can be easy to add to your diet because they are so delicious and filling. Tahini goes great with fresh lemon juice for a salad dressing, cashews can be made into “milk” or “cheese” in the food processor, see recipe link below for lasagna with cashew ricotta. Many nuts are available as a nut butter (or make your own in a food processor). Nut butters go well with celery, apples and bananas. Nuts in oatmeal are great, on top of salads, chia seeds turn gelatinous and make great puddings. The opportunities are endless.
Won’t I get fat from eating too many nuts?
The short answer is, no. And there is plenty of research to back it up. Nuts and seeds are unique in that they satisfy your hunger, and you compensate without even knowing it and end up eating less. Plus, we don’t even absorb all of the fat contained in nuts. If you are still worried, watch the video here http://nutritionfacts.org/video/nuts-and-obesity-the-weight-of-evidence/ and read this study where participants were given 120 pistachios to eat every day for 3 months and didn’t gain a pound http://nutritionj.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1475-2891-11-20.
How much should I eat?
The research shows that if you eat 1/4 cup of nuts or seeds each day (equivalent to 2 tablespoons of nut or seed butter), you increase your chances of living longer than those who don’t eat nuts. And as you saw earlier, you won’t gain weight.
I’d love to hear what your favorite way is to include nuts and seeds into your diet, here are a few recipes to get you started…
Oh my goodness, I thought this recipe for quinoa brittle was amazing, http://minimalistbaker.com/quinoa-brittle/, a fast and easy treat!
A great recipe for Lasagna with cashew “ricotta”, http://inspiralized.com/2016/03/14/vegan-kale-and-rutabaga-lasagna/ The recipe came out super delicious, I swear the cashew cheese tastes like ricotta, maybe even better. One suggestion is to make sure to cook the rutabaga enough. Mine were unevenly sliced and therefore unevenly cooked. Next time, I might pre-steam them before layering. If you’ve never used nutritional yeast, look for it in the bulk section at Whole Foods, and in the refrigerated nut section at Vitamin Cottage.
Chia Seed Pudding Recipe http://minimalistbaker.com/overnight-chocolate-chia-seed-pudding/ This has some good tips and suggestions. I prefer coconut milk to almond, seems to thicken a bit better in my experience, but go ahead and read the comments below her post if you want to learn more variations.
Links & Resources
Article about how nuts may extend lifespan by 2 years http://nutritionfacts.org/2015/05/14/nuts-may-extend-your-lifespan-by-about-2-years/
Here are some articles and videos on the research about nuts and seeds http://nutritionfacts.org/?s=nuts+and+seeds
If you are concerned about eating nuts because you have diverticulosis, check out this video here http://nutritionfacts.org/video/diverticulosis-nuts/