Nuts: A Healthy Choice

March 19, 2012

Innovative senior careWhen you think of snacks, what comes to mind?

Chips?

Candy?

Anything loaded with sugar and fat?

When we’re young, we are not overly concerned about the nutritional content of the food we eat. As we age, however, it becomes vitally important.

For my uncle, after his heart attack, it was a huge adjustment. Was there a great tasting snack that could actually improve his health?

Yes there was: Nuts!

Previously thought to be a no-no food due to their high fat content, nuts are now considered a super food. They have a number of health benefits. According to AARP, multiple studies have shown that consuming different types of nuts can help our bodies in many different ways. Not only can it help control blood sugar, but it can also lower your risk for certain types of cancers and prevent heart disease.

How is it possible for a high fat food to be good for you? Let’s delve in a little deeper.

There are a few key reasons why nuts are good for you:

High content of mono- and polyunsaturated fats (Omega-3 fatty acids)

These are the good fats. They lower your overall cholesterol, as well as your LDL levels (bad cholesterol). This decreases your cardiovascular risk and any associated complications.

Vitamins

Nuts are chock-full of vitamins. Vitamins improve our health in numerous ways, from better eyesight and stronger bones and teeth, to improved nerve function and hormone balance.

Keeps you moving…

…on the inside, anyway. Nuts are full of fiber. Not only does fiber help lower cholesterol but it makes you feel full, which can prevent overeating and obesity. Also, according to the Mayo Clinic, it is thought that fiber may play a role in preventing diabetes.

Nuts are also rich in antioxidants, plant sterols, and phytonutrients.

Which nuts top the healthy list?

Here are a few:

  • Walnuts
  • Pistachios
  • Almonds
  • Hazelnuts
  • Pecans
  • Peanuts (even though they are not really considered a nut, they are a legume)

Of course, you have to keep in mind, they ARE still high in fat and calories so limit your intake to about 1-2 ounces per day. Also, avoid nuts that are covered in chocolate, sugar or salt, as this will defeat the health benefits.

A great way to incorporate them into your diet is to add them to salads, wraps, oatmeal and pasta. Use your imagination! Or just grab a handful and snack away. Your body will thank you for it.

Chris Lerch, Owner Home Instead Senior Care Houston

We hope this was helpful. If you have any questions or if you know of a senior that could benefit from our vast array of home care services in Houston, please call us at 832 379-4700 or email us. We accept most long term care insurance as payment and have a full time staff supervising more than 100 quality-trained home care personnel covering the Houston, Texas area.

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Chris M. Lerch, Owner

We hope this was helpful. If you have any questions or if you know of a senior that could benefit from our vast array of home care services in Houston, please call us at 832 379-4700 or email us. We accept most long term care insurance as payment and have a full time staff supervising more than 100 quality-trained home care personnel covering the Houston, Texas area.

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