Eat those nuts to stay healthy

Last Updated: Tuesday, October 6, 2009 - 00:00

New Delhi: It`s time to get rid of salted potato chips from your shelves and replace them with healthier nuts that will help you overcome hunger pangs and attain a healthy lifestyle.

For years it was said that nuts contain fat and lead to body heat and so they should be avoided, especially during summer.

"There are so many myths associated with nuts that are not at all true. First of all, eating a handful of nuts every day doesn`t mean that you will become fat. Nuts have mono-saturated fat that are good for your body. They also help you lose weight," nutrition expert Geetu Amarnani said.

"The other myth associated with nuts is that they generate body heat if eaten during summer. This is not true. Excess of everything is bad and the same goes with nuts. You don`t have to eat them in plenty. A handful is more than enough," she added.

Also, one has to choose from a wide variety of nuts from almonds to pistachios, from cashew nuts to walnuts and from hazelnuts to pine nuts.

Fitness expert Aamit from FX Zone Noida says that nuts help in losing weight if you start replacing junk food with them.

"We all have this tendency to eat junk food whenever we get hunger pangs. We eat chips, noodles, biscuits or namkeens and they are not at all filling. You will feel filled for some time but in another one hour you will again feel hungry," said Aamit.

"The best way is to keep a fruit or sprout handy. But that also might not give you a feeling of fullness. So when your hunger pang is at its peak, you should opt for a handful of nuts. They will keep you full for a long time."

At the same time Aamit warns that one should avoid eating nuts at night.

"As a universal rule, one should eat dinner early and then if you get hunger pangs then one should avoid approaching nuts because they take time to digest and if there is no such activity then they can result in weight gain," explained Aamit.

Nuts are also excellent sources of antioxidants, fibre and protein. They contain vitamins and minerals like magnesium, copper, folic acid and zinc that help protect against heart disease, high blood pressure and stroke, and may also prevent certain forms of cancer.

Given this, nuts should be a convenient choice for between-meal nibbing but one should not replace a full meal with it.

"One should never replace lunch or dinner with nuts. It is a healthy snack and fits perfectly in a balanced diet but meal replacement is a big no," explained Amarnani.

Fitness experts and nutritionists are not the only ones who understand the benefits of nuts. Bollywood actress Karisma Kapoor too admits that the secret behind her healthy body is a handful of nuts.

"Nuts have always been a part of my daily life as they are a gift from nature and are good for health. What is exciting is that nuts are not just healthy snacks, they can be enjoyed in many different ways in different cuisines," said Kapoor.

"I have always been particular about making informed food choices defining good health as it creates a feeling of well being that enables a person to truly enjoy a good life," she added.

IANS



First Published: Tuesday, October 6, 2009 - 00:00

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