Towards the end of last year I spent many weeks blogging about the Blue Zones. Research from those areas of the world with the greatest longevity has given us so much valuable information regarding how we can improve our health and wellness. This week I will finish blogging about valuable food guidelines take from the Blue Zones research.
Results of a Harvard study followed 100,000 people for 30 years and found that those who eat nuts have a 20% lower mortality rate than those who do not eat nuts. In addition, studies show that diets with nuts reduce the bad LDL cholesterol regardless of the amount of nuts consumed. Walnuts, almonds, and peanuts are the nuts that are most likely to lower your cholesterol, but all nuts have many healthy ingredients including fiber. Try to eat two handfuls of nuts per day.
Snack on Nuts
- Keep nuts at work for midmorning or mid afternoon snacks. Pack some in small snack bags to take for travel and car trips
- Try adding nuts/seeds to salads and soups
- Stock up on a variety of nuts, including almonds, walnuts, and cashews
- Use nuts in preparing meals as a protein source
- Eat some nuts before a meal to reduce the overall glycemic load
I regularly use nuts in meal preparation as an alternative to snacking since it is easier to keep track of how many you are actually eating. Some of us in my family love nuts so much we have to measure (using one handful) how many we eat since they are high in calories.
I am reusing this photo to illustrate that a quarter cup serving of nuts looks different depending on the size of your hand. Serving size does matter;)
Taken from National Geographic’s “The Blue Zones-The Science of Living Longer”