Nuts and seeds part 3/3
Do nut or seed butters differ to whole nuts?
Basically, as long as they have nothing added to or taken away from them, they are just as healthy as whole nuts. When you are shopping, check the labels and buy nuts that say they are made from 100% nuts e.g. 100% peanuts. (Although peanuts are technically a legume, they have similar health benefits to nuts). 30g nuts or a tablespoon of nut butter a day has been found to nearly halve the risk of heart disease when consumed regularly*.
Vary the nuts and seeds you eat daily for the health benefits of the essential fats, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Bare in mind that nuts are high in fat and therefore calories (1g of fat = roughly 9 calories). To put this in perspective, 1g of protein or 1g of carbs = 3cals. Therefore if weight loss is your goal you should make sure you stick to around 30g a day, if weight or muscle gain is your goal then eat more to up your calories. DO NOT skip fats because you want to eat less calories though, they are essential for the function of nervous system, hormones and heart! *Li TY, Brennan AM, Wedick NM, Mantzoros C, Rifai N, Hu FB. Regular consumption of nuts is associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease in women with type 2 diabetes. J Nutr. 2009;139( 7): 1333–8.