Nuts, the natural and healthy snack… Right?
First things first
Why do people believe nuts are healthy?
Loads of protein, loads of non-saturated fat, loads of vitamins and minerals. All sounds good so far, right?
There is one issue here and that is energy density. Nuts (and seeds) are around 600KCal per 100grams, or roughly 2,500 Calories per pound. That is a LOT.
I’ll cover energy density in another article… but let’s just say that nuts are a calorific bomb.
Most people will start eating nuts when they decide to ‘get healthy’ or lose weight. Nuts are really pushed by the media, personal trainers, and the medical profession as a healthy natural snack.
And maybe they are healthy, but there’s a bit more to it.
The truth of it is, most people actually eat the same amount of nuts regardless of whether they’re on a ‘diet’ or not. The food is simply reframed as being healthy.
But, why are nuts considered healthy?
Nuts. They sound natural, and they are. And natural means healthy, well it’s certainly associated with being healthy but it’s not always the case. Lots of things are natural but not healthy. Coal is a natural substance, so is uranium, but that doesn’t make them healthy.
Of course, those are ridiculous examples but you get the point! So are nuts actually natural?
The devil here is in the detail.
Nuts in their natural form are encased by a hard outer shell, which takes a lot of effort to break or crack to get to the actual nut.
Think back to Christmas as a child and you can probably remember a bowl of nuts with a nutcracker nearby. You likely had half a dozen before hurting your thumb or getting bored and doing something else.
But let’s think way back, let’s go 1000 years back.
How would we acquire nuts? Well, we would have to go and forage for them from the forest floor typically. A time-intensive and labour-intensive exercise and only possible at certain times of the year.
It could literally take half a day to gather a few lbs of nuts (1kg) and that’s a lot of work to do so.
After all that you’d have a lot of nuts to store as an energy source, perhaps for use in cooking or storage for when food is scarce.
Do you have to go and forage nuts from the forest floor?
Are nuts only available at certain times of the year?
Do you have to remove nuts from their shell typically to eat them?
What portion size do nuts typically come in?
Here’s the problem!!
Nuts in their natural form, where you have to go and forage for them are great. Nuts that you pick up at the grocery store are prone to you overeating on them and extremely easily.
And this causes a lot of problems… “I’m eating healthy fats” and you are, and protein, but far far too much. A small handful of nuts a day (edible nuts that is), no issue but sit down with a bowl of nuts and you’ll eat the lot AND then eat a meal afterwards, we have a problem…
Thanks for reading 🙂
All my love,