If you’ve been eating nuts for years and are totally (obviously) convinced by their awesome health benefits, you might find it funny to hear some of the common nut myths going around, and if you once believed any of these — it’s okay, you’re not alone! But we are here to set the record straight…
Myth #1: Activated Nuts are better than ‘regular’ nuts
‘Activated’ nuts have become a health fad lately, but no one seems to be able to definitively determine whether there are any tangible health benefits of doing so…
There’s actually very little evidence that activated nuts provide any additional benefits.
According to a study published in the European Journal of Nutrition in December 2018, soaking or ‘activating’ almonds did not reduce phytates, nor did it improve GI tolerance when compared to unsoaked nuts (two claims that activated nut lovers swear by).
The bottom line is: you don’t need to spend extra money on fancy ‘activated’ nuts to get the amazing benefits they offer! But if you want to, that’s cool too! In fact, some who suffer from digestive disorders claim that the activation process is the only way they can include nuts in their diet.
‘Wait, what on earth is an Activated Nut?’, you ask.
Myth #2: Nuts are too dense in fat & energy
This is a very common concern in our industry and continues to be top of mind for consumers and health professionals.
Yes, nuts are energy dense, but they are nutrient dense too and provide a host of health benefits.
- tend to have a lower body mass index (BMI)
- are less likely to gain weight over time
Why is this?
Well, there are several mechanisms that could be responsible for these effects. Firstly, the fibre and protein in nuts help to satisfy hunger more easily and reduce appetite. Second, the healthy fats in nuts help to release satiety hormones in the digestive system which help to tell you when you’re full. Lastly, and the most glamorous, nut eaters excrete more fat in their stools, meaning less fat and energy is absorbed.
So grab a handful a day! Your body will love you for it.
Myth #3: Some nuts are better than others
False! We often hear that ‘macadamias are too high in fat’ or ‘peanuts are the best nut to eat’. We do know that some nuts are higher in polyunsaturated fats, others are higher in monounsaturated fats; some contain more protein and fibre; some are rich in selenium and other in vitamin E, but this doesn’t necessarily make any nut better than the next!
Regardless of their specific breakdown of nutrients, all nuts are packed with amazing vitamins and minerals, so you really can’t go wrong. Some health conditions lend themselves to different types of nuts best, and we suggest you visit your general practitioner for specific advice.
It’s a great idea to try a variety of nuts, work out which you like best and be sure to include them in your diet where possible because overwhelming research shows positive health benefits of eating nuts and does not discriminate between different varieties.
Myth #4: Raw nuts are better than dry roasted nuts
This is a tricky one. There is evidence to suggest that as long as nuts are roasted at low temperatures, there is no effect on the fatty acid profile (the good fats).
However, some research also shows that a negligible amount of trans fats (bad fats) are produced through the roasting process depending on the time and temperature of the roast. Additionally, nutrients that are not heat stable such as B group vitamins may be reduced in roasted nuts, but all is not lost, as most of us get Vitamin B from grains and cereals.
The differences between the two are so negligible, that it is unlikely it will matter in the long run. Provided nuts are eaten regularly, research shows it will impact positively on your risk of heart disease and other health issues. Ultimately, it’s best to eat some nuts (raw or roasted) than none at all.
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If you’re looking for more information about Nuts & Health we have even more information on how nuts can help you lose weight, manage your diabetes and play an important part in a vegetarian diet (plus lots more!).
Still want more?
Head to Nuts for Life. They have a huge resource of fact sheets and information on every single nut, ever!