In a Nutshell – Nuts & Seeds are good for your health – Not that we should require any further confirmation, though according to the new Dietary Guidelines set for all Australians the message is loud and clear that Nuts and Seeds should be included as part of a healthy balanced diet.
Guideline 1 clearly stipulates that we should “eat a wide variety of nutritious foods from the following five groups every day” within this list alongside vegetables and fruit are Nuts and Seeds.
Although nuts and seeds have been included within the recommendations for previous dietary guidelines set for all Australians as being nutritious foods that should be consumed as part of a healthy balanced diet, nuts and seeds are both individually listed as part of the very first recommended dietary guideline which once again highlights and reinforces their importance in our diets.
Unfortunately during the low fat era when people were bombarded with inaccurate and misleading information stating that all fats were bad and that they should be avoided – healthy nutrient dense foods such as nuts, olives and avocadoes were eliminated from peoples diets.
People were so concerned and paranoid about eating fats and they were so focused on reducing their fat intake that they would replace healthy foods containing fats with foods laden with carbohydrates instead. This lead to a considerable increase in the food intake for some people whereby they would have to eat more food in order to feel full, increasing their calorie intake considerably as starchy carbohydrate laden foods were being utilised as replacement foods for nutritious healthy foods containing fats such as nuts, seeds and avocadoes. The core outcome of this misinformation lead to low fat, poor nutrient diets which resulted in many people becoming fat.
Following a low fat diet whereby you reduce or eliminate all fats from your diet including healthy fats is not the solution as a low fat or no fat diet restricts your nutrient intake namely from the macronutrient fat as well as fat soluble vitamins which are micronutrients (for example seafood, nuts, seeds such as flax seeds all contain fat & all of these foods are packed full of nutrients).
Fat plays a major role in the functioning of the human body, as fats:
- Waterproof the skin
- Insulate the body
- Provide an energy store
- Build cell membranes
- Are a major component of many hormones
- Maintain some of the major systems within the body
Also the fat soluble vitamins, vitamins A, D, E & K cannot be absorbed without the presence of fat in our diet.
So to sum up selecting healthy fats are a critical component of any healthy diet, and avoiding fats can actually cause chronic disease. So do not be afraid of foods that contain healthy fats include and enjoy these nutrient dense foods as part of your healthy balanced diet.