Oh, NUTS!

Out-Of-Hand Nuts (and a few Seeds)

Unless you have an allergy (obvious, and more about why those are on the rise here), it’s time to pop some nuts into your mouth. A new study published in Nutrition Research concluded that even though nut enthusiasts generally have a higher overall calorie intake, 1/4-ounce or more per day of OOHN (Out-Of-Hand Nuts) meant better overall intake of healthy fats and fiber, and a lower intake of cholesterol, sodium, and sugary carbs. More OOHN also meant lower risk of high blood pressure and better “good” HDL cholesterol–both indicative of lower heart disease risk. And yes, the researchers coined the acronym for Out-Of-Hand Nuts, which literally means nuts that you eat out of your hand versus those stashed in cookies, bread, cakes, etc.

While OOHN lovers DID consume more calories than OOHN anti-lovers, the lovers generally had similar or lower Body Mass Indexes. Perhaps it’s all the calories burned tossing the nuts into one’s mouth. Have you had YOUR out-of-hand nuts today?

Happy Nacho Day!

Football fans and health heroes! Here’s a last-minute recycled video on preparing my famous No Fat Pants Nachos for today’s big game.

Plus, be sure to check out Forks Over Knives Superbowl Recipes for Hearty Nachos, Roasted Red Pepper Hummus Tapenade, BBQ Tofu “Wings,” Lentil Chili, and Whole Grain Corn Muffins. Not to mention the Lunchbox Bunch’s Avocado Quesadillas and Meatless Buffalo Bites–perfect for the eat-fest that is the Superbowl.

Happy cheering and chowing!

Protein, not Sugar, to Cure Afternoon Slump

Photo by: NutsInBulk

When you start dragging your heals around 3:00 in the afternoon and then literally drag your heals to the vending machine for a sugary energy boost, turns out the sweet Charleston Chew (do they make those anymore?) or the bag of jelly beans are some of the worst things you could get. The best? Planter’s Mixed Nuts, a protein-rich granola bar, or another similarly high-protein snack.

Researchers dedicated to understanding the afternoon slump and then beating it with food (slump quashers), just published their recent findings in the journal Neuron. Apparently the orexin cells in your brain–which stimulate wakefulness and tell your body to use up energy–are not only blocked by glucose (carbs/sugar), but the amino acids in protein actually block the blocking ability of the glucose. Block blockers! So, once your lunch has digested and a whole army of glucose is floating around your bloodstream, you’ll start to get sleeeeepy. But no you wont! Eat some protein sans sugar (unsweetened nuts, edamame beans, etc.) and quash that snoozy feeling. As an added bonus, grabbing protein rather than pretzels, fruit, or candy this time of day actually helps with weight control too. Read more about those details and your new friends the orexin cells here.

For avid Bitchin’ Dietitian followers, you may remember my VERY FIRST BLOG POST addressed this important topic, and it looks like I pretty much nailed it.