An option for a healthy choice of nuts and dried fruits

One difficulty you may face when adopting healthier eating habits is supplementing your diet with healthier snacks. We offer you an excellent option: nuts.

An option for a healthy choice of nuts and dried fruits
Healthy choice of nuts. Photo by Maddi Bazzocco / Unsplash

One of the biggest challenges for a person who has decided to adopt healthier eating habits, whether it is by completely changing their diet, gradually integrating natural and whole foods, or starting to cut down on "junk food", is to supplement their diet with healthier snacks. Today we offer you an excellent option: nuts.

Commercially it is common to find products for sale that are mixtures of various oilseeds such as pecan, walnut, pistachio, hazelnut, pine nuts, and sunflower or pumpkin seeds, among others; we can call this combination nuts.

This is an option that, besides being delicious, is very healthy, since it represents an excellent source of omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, phytosterols, and tocopherols with vitamin E activity. The content of healthy fatty acids such as omega-3 and phytosterols can help lower levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL), popularly known as "bad cholesterol" and protect against cardiovascular risk

According to Gustavo González Aguilar, professor of the Coordination of Food Technology of Plant Origin at the Food and Development Research Center (CIAD), vitamin E is one of the main antioxidants present in these fruits. Vitamin E and other antioxidants can help counteract aging by different mechanisms, mainly the aging associated with free radicals.

Nuts are rich in flavonoids, precursors of neurotransmitters that help preserve memory and are associated with protective effects against cognitive decline associated with aging.

Although the intake of these oilseeds represents a good option for a healthy snack due to its content of nutrients and phytonutrients, its high content of lipids or fats should be considered and not eaten in high quantities.

Today we do not know the exact amounts to consume that will prevent us from any cardiovascular disease. What we do know is that people who eat nuts more than four times a week have a lower risk of cardiovascular disease. However, for a more specific control, it would be convenient to go to a nutritionist so that the consumption of nuts is integrated into the total caloric intake of the diet.

It should be emphasized that daily intake of nuts and dried fruit, as part of a balanced diet, do not represent a risk factor for weight gain. It is also recommended that they be consumed naturally, as many of these products are sold salted or covered with chocolate or caramel, so these presentations should be avoided and consumed naturally.