Walnuts Are Healthiest Nuts, But May Not Be Enough For Dinner!
If you eat a handful of nuts or two at a party, they don't generally ruin your appetite for dinner. If they do make you feel full, you're in luck, because one of the recommendations of this study is that those nuts become your dinner.
Although nuts have long been recommended by dietitians as a valuable addition to a healthy diet because of their antioxidant properties, they have never been ranked according to which nuts were the best providers of antioxidants.
Joe Vinson, PhD chemist from the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania, conducted the first analysis of this kind and presented it to the American Chemical Society meeting yesterday in Anaheim, CA. He analyzed the anti-oxidants in nine varieties of nuts: walnuts, almonds, peanuts, pistachios, hazelnuts, Brazil nuts, cashews, macadamias, and pecans.
Walnuts not only ranked the highest in numbers of anti-oxidant properties, but as the nut with the best kind of anti-oxidants, especially those that protect against disease, such as heart disease (particularly in men), Type 2 diabetes, certain cancers, gallstones, and other health problems.
"There’s another advantage in choosing walnuts as a source of antioxidants,” said Vinson. “The heat from roasting nuts generally reduces the quality of the antioxidants. People usually eat walnuts raw or unroasted, and get the full effectiveness of those antioxidants.”
Additionally, nuts provide high quality protein, like that found in meat and cheese, but without the equivalent of saturated fat. Nuts can be substituted for meat or cheese at a meal, but you do have to be careful about eating too many - that is, any more than 14 halves. (According to nutrition data, a cup of chopped walnuts contains 765 calories and 76 grams of fat!)