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Oh, Nuts!!

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How many times have I said that on the golf course?  More times than I care to count…so let’s use that expression in different way and speak about the crunchy, chewy and delicious food…the nut.

Nuts and seeds are amazing foods and are nearly always overlooked as being not only helpful but actually critical to gaining and maintaining good health!   It wasn’t even addressed or researched until the early 1990s when several large studies addressed nut consumption and found those who consumed them regularly (5 or more servings per week) were 35% less likely to die from heart disease!  Really? …from the nut?  Also, nuts have a significant cholesterol lowering capacity as well.  A huge compilation of studies was published in late 2015 which demonstrated each daily serving of nuts was associated with approximately a 5 mg/dl reduction in both total cholesterol and LDL (bad) fat in the blood!!  So eating a full serving of nuts daily can lower total cholesterol by nearly 30 points!  This is simply a remarkable finding.

At this juncture, most people are saying,”yeah, but if I eat all of those nuts I’ll get big as a house from all the weight I’ll put on!”  This simply isn’t true and nut consumption has been associated with a lower BMI, waist circumference and a lower likelihood of gaining weight or becoming obese. Now, of course, this doesn’t mean I sit down with 16oz of almonds at a time…but this has been demonstrated with eating 1-2 ounces of nuts each day.

Further, it’s remarkable to know that people eating nuts on a regular basis also enjoy greater longevity!  The risk of death from any cause for folks who eat nuts and seeds consistently is reduced by 27%  and in addressing heart disease only….the risk of dying from heart ailments of any kind is decreased by a whopping 39%!!

Among these other benefits, seed and nut consumption also reduce the risk of diabetes as both improve the glycemic of the diet significantly…thus, reducing insulin resistance which affords the beneficial protection!  Clinical trials have shown replacing carbohydrate foods with mixed nuts improves the HbA1c in patients with diabetes and the addition of pistachios to the diet was found to reduce insulin resistance in patients with prediabetes!

So one has to wonder…..does it get any better than the nut or it’s side kick the seed?  Eating them raw is the best means by which to eat them…or roasting them briefly ourselves.  Unsalted is also preferable and once you get used to them without salt, it’s very difficult to eat them salted again!  So please…eat up…nuts and seeds are great for you!

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