Nuts are one of the favorite snacks for folks who lead a ketogenic diet. They are both delicious and highly nutritious. They make for an excellent snack at any time of day, especially in the middle of the afternoon when most people’s energy levels tend to run low.
Nuts are high in fat, low in carbs, and a great source of several nutrients, including vitamin E, magnesium, and selenium. They’re one of the main sources of ALA omega-3 fatty acids, offering a range of health benefits from reducing rheumatoid arthritis to protecting against Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Nuts also contain antioxidants known as polyphenols, which may protect your cells and “bad” LDL cholesterol from damage caused by free radicals. Research suggests that nuts may reduce inflammation, especially in people with diabetes, kidney disease, and other serious health conditions.
Nuts have been shown to promote weight loss rather than contribute to weight gain. Several studies indicate that your body doesn’t absorb all of the calories in nuts. They help lower total and “bad” LDL cholesterol and triglycerides while boosting levels of “good” HDL cholesterol. Several studies have shown that blood sugar, blood pressure, and other health markers improve when people with type II diabetes and metabolic syndrome include nuts in their diet.
Many nuts are high in fiber, which can reduce disease risk, help keep you full, decrease calorie absorption, and improve gut health. Nuts may significantly lower your risk of heart attack and stroke. Eating nuts increases “bad” LDL particle size, raises “good” HDL cholesterol, improves artery function, and has various other benefits.
As long as you enjoy nuts in moderation, they make for a tasty addition to a healthy, balanced diet.
Nutrients Per Serving
A 1/4 cup of raw mixed nuts contains:
Protein: 4 grams
Fat: 16 grams
Carbohydrates: 4 grams
Fiber: 3 grams
Sugar: 0 grams
Raw or Roasted?
Nuts can be enjoyed whole, as nut butters, or chopped up on food. They are often roasted and sometimes salted for a longer shelf life. If you buy roasted nuts, you can store them at room temperature. It is better to store raw nuts in the fridge or freezer in order to keep them fresher for longer.
Nutritionists recommend eating nuts in raw state. Why is that so?
Nuts in their raw form contain a significant amount of natural and healthy nutrients. When they are roasted, that is, if they are exposed to heat, there is a possibility that the nutritious natural oils will turn into trans fats. This is extremely risky for health.
When some nuts, such as hazelnuts, are roasted, their thin shells are also lost. These peels are very rich in fiber and have high nutritional value.
Some of the nuts are salted while being roasted. Consumption of high amounts of salt causes high blood pressure.
Nuts which are exposed to high heat while roasting, are quite worthless in terms of nutritional value (high heat destroys protein, minerals, vitamins) compared to their raw form.
Roasted nuts make people want to consume more than normal. Consuming too much nuts can cause weigt gain and related other health problems.
Well, when there are such known negatives about roasting nuts, you may be thinking "why to go the extra trouble of roasting in the first place?"
The primary purpose of roasting nuts is purely commercial; to extend their shelf life.
The second reason why nuts are roasted is, to protect them from harmful bacteria. However, there is no risk of bacterial damage if you provide proper cold storage conditions.
In conclusion, it is best to enjoy nuts in raw state in order to get maximum benefit from them; of course you must store raw nuts properly chilled in a refrigerator.