The Health Value of Nuts
Nuts are a good source of protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals. Although not a low-calorie food, nuts are nutrient dense, cholesterol-free & contain mostly unsaturated fats which are high in antioxidants, promote good cholesterol and help combat cardiovascular disease. Furthermore, unless salted, nuts contain very little sodium making them a great snack for many, including individuals with diabetes and other sodium sensitivities.
The pecan is 90% unsaturated fat & contains over 19 minerals and vitamins, including calcium, iron, manganese & zinc. Pecans are heart-healthy and there are many associated benefits to eating them; check out the following articles to learn more.
Golbe, L. I. MD; Farrell, T.M. & Davis, P.H. MD. “Case-Control Study of Early Life Dietary Factors in Parkinson’s Disease.” Arch Neurol 45.12 (1988): 1350-53.
- “Unexpectedly associated with the absence of [Parkinson’s disease] were preference for nuts (odds ratio, 0.39)… consistent with the hypothesis that vitamin E, as an antioxidant, may have prophylactic value against [Parkinson’s disease].”
Jenkins, D. J. A.; Hu, F. B.; Tapsell, L. C.; Josse, A. R. & Kendall, W. C. “Possible Benefit of Nuts in Type 2 Diabetes.” The Journal of Nutrition 138 (2008): 1752S-56S.
- “Nuts [have] the potential to improve the blood lipid profile and…nut consumption has been associated with a reduced risk of coronary heart disease. Studies…have demonstrated the ability of nuts, when eaten with carbohydrate (bread), to depress postprandial glycemia and reduce postprandial oxidative stress.”
King, J. C.; Blumberg, J.; Ingwersen, L.; Jenab, M. & Tucker, K. L. “Tree Nuts and Peanuts as Components of a Healthy Diet.” The Journal of Nutrition 138 (2008): 1736S-40S.
- “Nuts are an excellent source of vitamin E and magnesium… [and] regular nut consumption increases total energy intake by 250kcal/d (1.05MJ/d), but the body weight of nut consumers is not greater than that of nonconsumers.”
Kris-Etherton, P. M.; Hu, F. B.; Ros, E. & Sabate, J. “The Role of Tree Nuts and Peanuts in the Prevention of Coronary Heart Disease: Multiple Potential Mechanisms.” The Journal of Nutrition 138 (2008): 1746S-51S.
- “Epidemiologic studies showed that subjects in the highest intake group for nut consumption had a ~35% reduced risk for [coronary heart disease]…Nuts and peanuts are food sources that are a composite of numerous cardioprotective nutrients and if routinely incorporated in a healthy diet, population risk of CHD would therefore be expected to decrease markedly.”
Mattes, R. D.; Kris-Etherton, P. M. & Foster, G. D. “Impact of Peanuts and Tree Nuts on Body Weight and Healthy Weight Loss in Adults.” The Journal of Nutrition 138 (2008): 1741S-45S.
- “Epidemiological studies document an inverse association between the frequency of nut consumption and BMI. Clinical trials reveal little or no weight change with inclusion of various types of nuts in the diet over 1—6 mo. Consistent literature suggests nuts may be included in the diet, in moderation, to enhance palatability and nutrient quality without posing a threat for weight gain.”