Today, 12/3/2018, Dr. Oz discusses one of the most purchased snack foods on the planet, packaged nuts. We pick those because we think they are healthier than candy bars but are they all the same? With the low-carb craze, nuts are more popular than ever, but they’re not all created equal. Oz investigates if they are healthier in a can or a bag, roasted or raw, flavored or plain.
Oz says the snack food he eats every day has come under attack. Even the government has stepped in and called them unhealthy. Mark Schatzker says the FDA sent a letter to Diamond Foods saying walnuts could lower cholesterol. After Diamond Foods put healthy foods on their label, the FDA sent them a letter to remove this from their label. Nuts are high in fiber but high in unsaturated fats so how can we keep from going nuts?
Nutritionist Kellyann Petrucci says nuts are a great part of a healthy diet but she wouldn’t call them a health food. What she found was that eating too many nuts made many gain weight because people just eat way too many and of the wrong kind. She says you need to eat them but be mindful. She recommends eating only an open handful at a time.
Wondering how to add nuts to your diet without spending a fortune and packing on the pounds? With the help of Schatzker and Petrucci, they’ve separated fact from fiction and have come up with a few tried and true tips to help you navigate this food group the smart way.
Guide to buying healthy nuts
- Portion guide. Try buying 100-calorie packs so that your portions are accounted for ahead of time, or simply aim to eat no more than a small handful (about a shot glass full) to stay on track. Avoid salty, roasted, and flavored nuts and opt for the raw kind that has no additional ingredients to ensure you get all the health benefits and none of the unhealthy excess.
- Avoid inflammation. While nuts like cashews, in particular, have a lot of omega-6s, it’s important to strike a balance between omega-6s and omega-3s to reap the brain and heart health benefits. Since a lot of people tend to get more omega-6 in their diet, it can cause inflammation. To avoid this imbalance, stick to walnuts, which have a good mix of both omega types and they have phytochemicals that may actually reduce inflammation as well.
- Spend wisely. If you want to get the most bang for your back, stick to walnuts and pistachios. Walnuts have the highest concentration of omega-3s, and pistachios are lower in calories, full of potassium, and are packed with tons of vitamins.
- Sneak them in. You can blend nuts of your choosing into a butter and add that to smoothies, oatmeal, and baked goods, or you can grind the nuts and use them as a crust for fish or chicken; the options are endless!
- Make your own trail mix. A lot of the store-bought varieties have way too much sugar, salt, and fat. Make your own trail mix with your choice of raw nuts. Add raw pumpkin or sunflower seeds, a small portion of dark chocolate chips or raisins, and coconut flakes and you’ve got a nutritious snack when the hunger pangs hit.
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