Whether sprinkling slivered almonds on steamed veggies, spreading almond butter on breakfast toast or scooping up crunchy cashews when a snack attack hits, it’s easy to go nuts for nuts! No matter how you enjoy them, just a small serving instantly ups your daily intake of fiber, protein and healthy fats. But be sure to watch for this ingredient on labels, or you may be setting yourself back when it comes to benefits.
If fat was the first thing that came to mind, you might be surprised. Yes, nuts are notoriously high in fat; but it’s the “good” kind (both monounsaturated and polyunsaturated) that you actually want to include in your diet. Stick with small, handful-sized servings and you’re doing your body a favor””don’t worry about the scale.
What you don’t want in a nut is excess sodium, which comes not from the nut itself but rather from salt and seasonings added to processed, packaged varieties. Always choose unsalted (and even better, raw) nuts to avoid adding several hundred milligrams of sodium to your daily tally.
Keep in mind that the amount of sodium considered adequate (it’s needed by the body for some functions) is 1,500 milligrams daily. Get to 2,300 milligrams, and you’ve reached the Tolerable Upper Limit.
Let’s say you snack on just a half cup of salted, dry roasted almonds. You’ve just racked up 234 milligrams of sodium! Crunch on unsalted, dry roasted almonds instead and the number goes down to less than one milligram.
I love the Vitacost Best of All line of nuts because it’s organic, fresh and includes all my favorite types””from walnuts for baking desserts to cashews for making cashew cream and butter to slivered almonds to dress up a simple salad.
You can even treat yourself to dark chocolate-covered almonds from Best of All. A 10-nut serving has zero milligrams of sodium!
Amie Valpone, HHC, AADP is the Editor-in-Chief of TheHealthyApple.com; she is a Manhattan based Personal Chef, Culinary Nutritionist, Professional Recipe Developer, Food Photographer and Writer specializing in simple gluten-free and dairy-free “˜Clean’ recipes using whole foods. Amie recently healed herself from six years of chronic pain, exhausting every doctor in the country and Mayo Clinic; she shares her story of howClean Eating saved her life and inspires you to Clean up your food, too. Amie lives in Manhattan, NYC where she cooks for a variety of clients including celebrities and people with busy lifestyles who enjoy healthy, fresh food. Visit Amie on Facebook, Twitter andPinterest; she’d love to hear from you!