HG's here with some nut knowledge, tips & tricks, and of course our favorite nutty food finds!
The Need-to-Know Nut Info
Nuts are a bit of a puzzle -- they're very good for us, but they're also packed with fat and calories. Let's break it down...
* Although they're high in fat, it's the good kind of fat, so YAY! But there's still a LOT of it in there, so BOO. What's a snacker to do? Watch those portions, Chompy! Our tips below will help...
* What the heck is "good" fat, you ask? The fat in nuts is mostly unsaturated (not icky trans or saturated fats). Unsaturated fat helps lower bad cholesterol, raise good cholesterol, and reduce the risk of heart disease. That IS good!
* Worried adding nuts to your diet will add inches to your waistline? Not necessarily. Many studies reported no problems with weight gain when nuts were incorporated into subjects' diets. Nuts are filling, so snacking on 100 calories' worth may leave you way less likely to keep eating than if you ate 100 calories' worth of potato chips. Give nuts a chance!
Tips & Tricks for Nut-Chewers!
Truly good advice, if we do say so ourselves...
* Divvy up your nuts into individual servings. Don't snack on 'em straight from the jar (unless you have amazing self-control!).
* If you're adding nuts to a recipe, crush them up to make them go a lot further. Or use ones that are already sliced thinly.
* Go for nuts still in their shells. They take longer to eat, so you'll fill up before you eat too many!
* Mix your favorite nuts up with freeze-dried fruit and/or light puffy cereal for a fun trail-mix-like snack.
* Choose nuts that are dry-roasted or raw. No extra oils necessary!
Some of the best in the biz...
Snacktrition - The idea of making nuts even healthier is exciting to us. And the Snacktrition folks have cornered that market. Their nuts and nut mixes contain added calcium and/or fiber. Nice work, peeps! Try the Health Baked with Fiber Sea Salt Cashews -- 1/4 cup has 160 calories, 12g fat, 9g carbs, and 3g fiber (POINTS® value 4*).
Everybody's Nuts! California Pistachios - How much do we love these guys? A LOT! We'll take any opportunity to mention Stach, the cutest pistachio ever. And he'd approve of you eating these perfectly selected pistachios in shells guaranteed to be open (no one likes an unopenable nut). They come in four fun varieties. A 1/2 cup has 170 calories, 14g fat, 8g carbs, and 3g fiber (POINTS® value 4*). Stach says, "Eat more nuts!" OK, Stach, we'll do it!!!
100-Calorie Packs of Blue Diamond Whole Natural Almonds - Sometimes it's hard to have self-control around a ginormous bag of delicious almonds. Thank you, Blue Diamond, for bringing us 100-calorie packs of your tasty nuts! Each bag has 9g fat, 3g carbs, and 2g fiber (POINTS® value 2*).
Emerald Cocoa Roast Almonds, Dark Chocolate flavor - Ooooooooh, these are good! Get a little chocolate fix and some healthy fats at the same time! 1/4 cup contains 150 calories, 13g fat, 6g carbs, and 3g fiber (POINTS® value 3*). Not bad!
Sunkist Almond Accents - This fantastic stuff is slivered super-thin... so a little goes a loooooong way. In SEVEN rockin' flavors, these things range from savory to sweet (our fave is the Butter Toffee Glazed). Add 'em to salads, snack mixes, yogurt, and more. 1 tablespoon has 40 calories, 3 - 3.5g fat, 1 - 2g carbs, and 0 - 1g fiber (POINTS® value 1*).
Want more options? Here are some other ways to get your nut fix...
Kashi TLC Chewy Granola Bars, Honey Almond Flax - Oh, Kashi, you make so many tasty little products! And this one is packed not only with almonds but flaxseeds too (and those are packed with omega-3s!). Each bar has 140 calories, 5g fat, 19g carbs, and 4g fiber (POINTS® value 2*).
Justin's Nut Butter 100-Calorie Squeeze Packs - Let's hear it for portion control! After all, it's too easy to go overboard with nut butters in giant jars. So, sweet li'l Justin has solved the problem and given us, yes, 100-calorie squeeze packets!!! Each 0.6-oz. packet has 8g fat, 3 - 4g carbs, and 1 - 2g fiber (POINTS® value 2*). Plus, the creamy stuff comes in fun flavors -- Honey Peanut Butter Blend and Maple Almond Butter. Put THAT on your apple and eat it!
Luna Nutz Over Chocolate Bar - We love Luna bars -- especially this particular flavor. It tastes like a really amazing chocolate-bottomed Rice Krispies Treat with nuts. If this doesn't satisfy your sweet tooth... well, you're a NUT! Each bar has 180 calories, 4.5g fat, 25g carbs, and 3g fiber (POINTS® value 3*). Pssst -- there's a mini version too, and that has 80 calories, 2.5g fat, 10g carbs, and 1g fiber (POINTS® value 2*).
Better'n Peanut Butter - We cannot stop singing the praises of this super-low-fat peanut butter. Can you blame us? The stuff has 40% fewer calories and a whopping 85% less fat than regular PB. It's great in recipes, on light bread with sugar-free preserves... heck it's great straight from the spoon! A 2-tbsp. serving has 100 calories, 2.5g fat, 13g carbs, and 2g fiber (POINTS® value 2*). Plus, it comes in low-sodium and CHOCOLATE versions!!!
CHEW ON THIS: Today, September 5th, is National Cheese Pizza Day. For a cheesy-good time, check out our PIZZA-RIFIC email from back in November of last year!
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*The Points® values for these products and/or recipes were calculated by Hungry Girl and are not an endorsement or approval of the product, recipe or its manufacturer or developer by Weight Watchers International, Inc., the owner of the Points® registered trademark.