The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Nuts

I grew up with a fear of nuts. I can still hear my mother saying, “Don’t eat too many. They’re very fattening.” As a result, I pretty much only ate nuts after Christmas dinner—it’s an Italian thing. So even though I now know better, I still get a little jumpy when I read things like this. Carolyn O'Neil of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution expands on the benefits of consuming nuts:
As we enter this new year with state-of-the-art nutrition in mind, it's important to note that one of the best things you can do is work on ways to add super-nutritious foods — like nuts — to your diet rather than focusing on deprivation. Tossing an ounce of roasted almonds into a salad or coating baked fish in a thin layer of crushed peanuts certainly adds a lot of flavor and a pleasant nutty crunch. But you're also increasing your intake of protein, fiber and various vitamins and minerals, including disease-fighting antioxidants. So there's more than just fat in the nut mix.
I know, its sounds silly to get nervous about a food that’s so good for us, but trust me, I’m over it. It’s just that old beliefs are hard to shake. If for some reason you have the same feelings I did, check out this post, hopefully it’ll quell your worries the same way it did mine. From Nuts and Seeds Are Excellent Foods:
Nuts and seeds are a natural part of the diet of homo-sapiens. They are perfectly adapted to the taste and ability of humans to pick, dry, store, and crack. No wonder study after study shows raw nuts and seeds not only lower cholesterol, but protect against common diseases of aging. I recommend almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, pecans, pistachios, macadamias, filberts, and walnuts; and sunflower, sesame, flax, and pumpkin seeds. These delicious natural foods are high in nutrients and healthful unsaturated fats.
And be sure the check out the comments. In them Dr. Fuhrman addresses the claims made by some people who insist nuts and seeds should be avoided. Here’s a taste:
Almost all raw nuts and seeds are rich in micronutrients and protective food substances. They are not just a fat source, and they are also rich in plant proteins with favorable effects. We should aim to meet our requirements for both short and long-chain omega-3’s, but it is healthy, not unhealthy, to get most of your fat intake from foods such as almonds and sunflower seeds which are rich in mono and polyunsaturared fats and micronutrient powerhouses, instead of extracted oils and animal products, which do not have comparable micronutrient density. This has already been well documented. It is good to consume a little ground flax seeds and walnuts daily because they are rich in those omega-3 fats that are otherwise low in the American diet that is overly rich in animal products (largely omega-6 and saturated fats).
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