Nuts: The Secret Treat For Healthy Eaters
Not all nuts are created equal. They all have different flavors, textures, shelf-lives, nutritional content, and as you’ve probably noticed, different prices. Which nuts are better? Well, that all depends. When deciding which type of nut is right for you, keep these considerations in mind.
How Will You Use Them?
Because the many different nut varieties all have different nuances of flavor, they serve different purposes in the kitchen. For example, peanuts and cashews pair nicely with savory dishes like stir-frys and chilis, while walnuts, pecans, and macadamias are better suited for desserts. Choose a nut that fits your taste and lifestyle. Some types are incredibly versatile and can be added to almost any dish, while others have more limited usages. Determine how often you will use a particular variety before purchasing it in bulk because nuts can turn rancid quickly. The higher the fat content, the sooner this will happen. Therefore, the type of nut you want depends on how you plan to use it.
What Dietary Restrictions Do You Have?
As far as nutrition is concerned, the variety of nut is not nearly as important as how the nut has been processed. If you need to watch fat or sodium, make sure that you purchase nuts that do not have oil or salt added to them. Some nuts are higher in certain nutrients than others; for example, walnuts are high in omega 3 fatty acids, while hazelnuts are high in folic acid. For maximum overall health benefits, snack on a mix of several different varieties. While the calorie content varies somewhat among the different nuts, none are particularly low cal. Therefore, you need to exercise portion control no matter what type of nut you are eating. Bottom line: don’t eat them mindlessly from a huge container.
Consider Cost and Availability
Depending on where you live, certain varieties may be more available to you than others. If you live in the Southwest, pecans are local to you, whereas in Hawaii, macadamias are more accessible. Peanuts (though technically not a nut, but a legume) are the least expensive nut, while macadamias and walnuts are pricier.
Because nuts are high in protein and fiber, they are incredibly filling. So even though they aren’t necessarily a low calorie food, you don’t need to eat a lot of them in order to feel full. Just make sure that whatever kind you do buy does not have a lot of salt or oil added. Nuts add flavor, nutrition, and crunch to any recipe. Plus, they are the perfect snack because they are filling, nutritious, and don’t require refrigeration.
This article was composed by T. Jay, blogger for New Urban Farms. In business for more than 40 years, New Urban Farms is your best source for wholesale nuts, dried fruits, snack mixes and candy online.