Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Aw, nuts !

One of the nicest things to me about a low carb approach is that nuts are not thought of as "the enemy". If you are counting carbs as opposed to counting calories, snacking on nuts is perfectly okay. A handful of nuts go a long way to satisfying hunger because of their fat and protein content. Nuts are very good for you, and pecans are one of the better choices out there nutritionally, Here's some info on them from the net-

"New research, published in the August 2006 issue of Nutrition Research, shows that adding just a handful of pecans to your diet each day may help inhibit unwanted oxidation of blood lipids, thus helping prevent coronary heart disease.

Research published in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry (June 2004) found that pecans rank highest among all nuts and are among the top category of foods to contain the highest antioxidant capacity,

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has acknowledged this and related research and approved the following qualified health claim: “Scientific evidence suggests, but does not prove, that eating 1.5 ounces per day of most nuts, such as pecans, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, may reduce the risk of heart disease.”

A review of pecan and other nut research, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (September 2003), suggests that nuts like pecans may aid in weight loss and maintenance. The review cited studies indicating that nut consumption may increase metabolic rates and enhance satiety. When used in conjunction with a healthy low-fat diet, nuts also offer increased flavor, palatability and texture that can lead to greater dietary compliance, according to the review.

Pecans are low in carbohydrates, contain polysaturated fats that help reduce LDL cholesterol levels, rich in pyridoxine, Vitamin B6 that is important for the regeneration of cells in the heart, zinc, thiamin, potassium, iron, minerals, and Vitamin E.

Pecans have been the staple food of Native Americans long before the white American settlers.

19 pecan halves contain 195 calories, 3 grams fiber, 20 grams fat and 3 grams protein. 297 mg Omega 3 fatty acids and 5,828 mg Omega 6 fatty acids. They contain 3.9 grams carbohydrates and are cholesterol free. They lower LDL cholesterol and have been show to reduce the risk of heart disease."

One of the nicer way to eat nuts is in the form of sugared nuts. A lot of people make them around the holidays, but if you switch the sugar for splenda, you get a tasty snack that you can enjoy year round without blowing your program. I made a batch yesterday for the house.

To make a batch, you will need 1/2 cup splenda, 2 t cinnamon, 1/2 t salt, 1 egg white and 3 cups of pecans ( you can also use walnuts, almonds or brazil nuts).

Preheat your oven to 350 and spray a baking pan with Pam. Next combine she sugar, salt and cinnamon- I do this in a ziplock bag

Next, whip your egg white into a froth

A Kitchen Aid mixer is such a good friend in a working kitchen ! Next toss the nuts in the egg whites

Then add the sugar mixture and toss to coat. Spread on a cookie sheet and bake at 350 for 20 minutes.

Cool, swat away hands seeking out the warm sweet nutty goodness and store in a covered container.Such a snack will find many hands sneaking a piece here and there, but you can feel good knowing that the thieves are getting something that is healthy and filled with essential omega fatty acids for their trouble .

Why are Omega Fatty Acids important? Clinical studies suggest that omega-3 fatty acids may be helpful in treating a variety of health conditions. The evidence is strongest for heart disease and problems that contribute to heart disease, but the range of possible uses for omega-3 fatty acids include:

High cholesterol ,High blood pressure ,Heart disease, Diabetes, Weight loss, Arthritis ,Osteoporosis, Depression, Bipolar disorder, Schizophrenia, Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), Eating disorders, Burns ,Skin disorders ,Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), Asthma, Macular Degeneration ,Menstrual pain, Colon cancer ,Breast cancer and Prostate cancer. Other sources cite these for treatment of Autism, MS, PMS and more.

Aw, nuts indeed !

1 comment:

Diane Fit to the Finish said...

You know what? I have a copy box full of unshelled pecans that a friend gave me in the spring. I have been putting off doing something with them, but how fun to make the sugared pecans.

For a long time I didn't care for nuts, but like so many things, as I've gotten older I've learned to love them!!

Thanks for the great information Diane.