Nuts Are More Than a Mixed Bag

Assortment of Mixed Nuts

Want an all around great snack for the long haul?  Mixed nuts and seeds may have gotten a bad rap after the low-fat craze in the 1980's, but the truth is that a bag of truly mixed nuts is a bag of health magic.  Each type of nut is packed with healthy fats.  Cancer-fighting, HDL (good cholesterol) raising, and LDL (bad cholesterol) lowering fats abound in each tiny packet.  Add to that the protein, fiber, antioxidant and essential amino acid, and vitamin and mineral toting qualities of this food, and smart lifestyle devotees should already be calculating how to fit more of them into their day.

It isn't all easy, though.  Salted roasted and shelled nuts carry too much sodium to be a perfect food, and it is too easy to overindulge in shelled nuts.  Most containers of mixed nuts on the market, unless one is shopping in a luxury foods or health food store, contain a large amount of peanuts compared to the other, more expensive varieties.  It may be that shopping carefully or mixing one's own custom blend may be the ticket.  Mixing raw nuts in their shells with one lightly salted variety would probably do the trick for making them a little more flavorful, without sacrificing their nutritional value.  The theory behind keeping nuts in the shell is that it is much more difficult to overindulge in them, particularly through habitual or subconscious eating.

Different varieties of nuts have different healthful benefits, and it is easy to  choose them based on one's personal health requirements and goals, and tastes of course.  Individuals who are fighting a high cholesterol problem may choose one blend, where another might choose an antioxidant heavy mixture.  A third might choose a particular vitamin or mineral heavy mixture to supplement their diet.  Whatever works, nuts and seeds are a great snack or pre-dinner pick-me up that can do wonders for both nutrition and satisfaction with a meal.  


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