Many people class nuts as the ‘bad foods’ which contain a lot of fat. Yes, they contain a lot of fat but also the mono-saturated fats that the body craves. This is extremely important and helps the body to function at an optimum level. When essential fatty acids are consumed, the body can work on shifting the bad fats in the body. We all require fat in our body to protect organs, keep us warm, and give the skin a healthy glow.
For those people who need to lose weight and reduce their daily calorie consumption, nut varieties and peanut/almond/pumpkin seed butters are a wonderful source of protein and keep the body fuller for longer. Although nuts contain incomplete proteins, they still supply many essential amino acids. Eaten with plant foods in the same meal, a complete protein is produced. Sprinkle cashew nuts in a stir-fry dish or honey coat some almonds to eat as a healthy, nutritious dessert. Nuts may also be added to salads.
Meat products contain complete proteins. They can be found in eggs, fish, or meat products. After strenuous exercise, especially after muscle building exercise, microscopic tears take place in the muscle. In order to grow back stronger, the body requires protein. Nuts are a wonderful to snack on before and after workouts. Many cereal bars contain a variety of nuts usually coated in a natural product like honey rather than hydrogenated trans fats (fats melted then re-hardened and added to foods to give it taste and texture).
On any weight reduction or muscle-gaining programme, make sure the body consumes natural proteins like those contained in nuts. Some processed foods contain protein of a lesser quality than those found naturally in plant and meat products. When the body consumes limited amino acids, it may struggle to use up the proteins immediately to replenish lean muscle tissue and stop it from regaining dynamic power. Low calorie diets can cause impaired lean muscle tissue. For the body to function at optimum level, essential proteins are required. If the body does not receive adequate proteins, the body breaks down protein in the lean muscle tissue to use as energy. This reduces the body’s basal metabolic rate. The more lean muscle tissue contained in the body the higher its metabolism.
Some varieties of nut contain more fat and proteins than other types. An average handful of cashew nuts would contain 17g of fat and 6g of protein. Almonds would give 18g of fat but 7g of protein. The skin of nuts also contains fiber. Peanut butter is high in protein. Around two tablespoons would give 15g of fat and just over 7g of protein. Normal peanuts, not of the salted variety, contain less fat and more protein than other nut varieties. Per handful, the fat content would be, on average, 15g and give approximately 9g of protein. Brazil nuts, pistachio nuts, macademia, walnuts, pecan nuts, hazelnuts, and coconut still contain proteins but are not as high a powerhouse than the other nut varieties. The nut that contains the least amount of fat and protein is chestnuts. Per handful, they contain about 1g of fat and less than a gram of protein.
Some nut varieties can cause allergies. In this case, consume proteins from pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, and linseeds. Seeds contain omega 3 and 6 essential fatty acids, very important for boosting metabolism and burning off ineffective fats from the body.