Monday, March 9, 2009

NUTrition Tip of the Day!

In case you haven't heard that nuts are good for you, I'll give you the 411 in a nutshell! (Couldn't resist - sorry!)

Whether you prefer peanuts, almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, pecans, pine nuts, pistachios or walnuts, eating 1.5 oz. per day as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol can:

- Lower your chance of heart disease
- Serve as a good source of protein, fiber, and Omega 3 essential-fatty acids
- Include most of your daily requirements of folic acid, niacin, vitamins E and B6, magnesium, copper, zinc, phosphorus, and potassium...
- May help curb your appetite
- Full of antioxidants and phytochemicals (cancer-fighting agents)

But here's the bad news...

They are extremely high in calorie. In fact, most nuts average about 190-200 calories and 15-17 grams of fat in just 1/4 cup. (Counted out, that's about 15-20 almonds to give you an example!) When you get going, it's sometimes hard to stop...

Good thing I never end with the bad news!

I've recently discovered a new snack - dry roasted edamame!

If visions of Japanese restaurants and fuzzy green pods come to mind, you're right. However, when you remove the soybeans from the pod, dry them and roast them - the result is a nutty texture and flavor, and get this - with all of the same healthy benefits and more!

1 serving (1/4 cup) of dry roasted edamame has only 130 calories, 4.5 grams of fat, and DOUBLE the protein of the average nut - 14 grams! 

So whether you sprinkle them on a salad, eat them plain as a snack, or couple a handful with some fruit or yogurt for breakfast, go nuts! (That's two in one post...sorry again!)

X-Tra info - *If you're a fan of buying in bulk, you can get a huge canister of them at Costco for CHEAP! Just remember to go ahead and put a 1/4 measuring cup inside so you don't get carried away.)*

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