Water Cooler Wellness: Are You a Health ‘Nut’?

Variety of Nuts

Variety of NutsCall me crazy, but I think it’s high time we had a heart-to-heart discussion about nuts. I’m not talking about my alcoholic step-grandmother, either.

We hear all the time that these little guys­—which come in many forms—are an excellent choice for snacking, so I thought it might be interesting to dig a little deeper and figure out why the world has come to this conclusion.

Assorted nuts in Iron potKnow Your Nuts

From peanuts and walnuts to almonds and cashews, there are some obvious health benefits to these nutritional gems.

First of all, these guys are three things: all natural, tasty, and convenient. But when you break it down even further, you’ll find that they’re packed with heart-healthy fats, protein, vitamins, and minerals. And don’t forget that nuts are a healthy source of fiber, so they’re a better snack for suppressing your appetite for a longer period of time than something like a candy bar or even a piece of toast.

If we’re going to pick the “healthiest” types of nuts, we can analyze the calorie content. The lowest-calorie nuts at 160 per ounce are almonds (23 nuts; 6 grams protein, 14 grams fat); cashews (16–18 nuts; 5 grams protein, 13 grams fat); and pistachios (49 nuts; 6 grams protein, 13 grams fat).

Remember that all nuts are a healthy alternative to a high-glycemic snack and that there’s only a 40-calorie per ounce difference between the highest- and lowest-calorie nuts.

Don’t Be Fooled

Just like any food—healthy or unhealthy—you shouldn’t stuff yourself in one sitting. Remember that even though they contain healthy omega-3 fatty acids, the fact remains that nuts are fairly high in calories and fat. So you should stick to a small handful a day as a healthy snack.

handful of pistachiosDon’t even get me started on nuts that have been roasted in oil, covered in salt, or coated in a sugar. Yes, they’re super tasty, but that can trick you into overeating in the long run. And what ever happened to appreciating the natural taste of foods?

Many roasted variations of peanuts have been cooked in unhealthy ingredients and sometimes reach temperatures that eliminate some of the healthy nutrients. And is it really necessary to throw sugar, corn syrup, salt, fructose, and cornstarch (main ingredients found in honey roasted peanuts) into the otherwise healthy mix?

Finally, watch out for nuts coated in chocolate or hidden in a deceivingly “healthy” trail mix. Salting your nuts and then throwing them in a batch of M&M’s isn’t the best idea. What’s next? Eating a Snickers bar for a healthy afternoon treat?

Get even more nutty info (it totally helped me write this post) here.

US Berry NuttyA Berry Good Idea

If you haven’t heard the big news, I’ll go ahead a tell you: we announced a new whole foods Nutrition Bar at this year’s International Convention. It’s called Berry Nutty, and it’s a nutritious bar that combines savory, sweet, and satisfying. Oh, and it’s coming soon, people. Real soon.

Now, let’s take a closer look at the main ingredients found in USANA’s new bar.

Almonds and cashews are high in monounsaturated fats—the same type of health-promoting fats found in olive oil.

Oats are high in fiber, which can help you feel fuller, longer.*

Super fruits like cranberries and cherries contain free radical fighting antioxidants. These antioxidants help to protect your body’s cells from damage caused by oxidative stress.*

Not only is Berry Nutty created with natural ingredients and a great source of fiber, it’s also gluten free, soy free, dairy free, non-GMO, and low glycemic.

Wow—talk about Mother Nature gone wild! Are you ready to take a bite of the wild side? Look for the upcoming launch of Berry Nutty and get ready to reap the benefits of healthy snacking.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Berry Nutty is manufactured on equipment that also processes products containing peanuts, soy, tree nuts, eggs, dairy, wheat, sesame, shellfish, and gluten.

Water Cooler Wellness is a USANA series looking at ways entrepreneurs or everyday folks can get healthy — physically, financially and maybe even emotionally. Next month in Water Cooler Wellness: Diabetes Awareness and Prevention.

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