Lots Of Nuts And Cheese Won’t Make You Slim!Dr. Nitin Gupte
Snacking On Nuts And Cheese Is Not Going To Make You Slim!
Many people ask me if snacking on ground nuts and other nuts like almonds and walnuts and cheese helps in slimming.
Hardly. In fact, all nuts including groundnuts and dry fruit nuts are very high in fats. They provide between 50 to 60 per cent fat, walnuts providing 60 gm fat by weight, meaning every 100 gm of these nuts provide you with 40, 50 or 60 gm of fat. That is the same as eating 10 to 12 teaspoons of pure fat, like oil or ghee!
A major part of the fat in nuts is the monounsaturated kind, though walnuts also provide the plant source omega-3 fatty acids, which help protect us from coronary artery disease, although not as valuable as the sea source omega 3. Almonds and walnuts are also rich in a wide range of antioxidants. So it makes sense to have a few almonds and walnuts daily, walnuts especially if fish is not a part of your food, especially if you’re slim.
Luckily there is no cholesterol in nuts.
Eating nuts because nuts have fibre, makes no sense for Indians. Pulses, whole grain cereals, vegetables, especially leafy vegetables and fruits provide adequate fibre in Indian diet at the cost of much fewer calories. Our normal Indian food has all four in most meals, so we don’t need high fat nuts for fibre. Plus all four are far cheaper than dry fruit nuts!
For most Indians, the normal diet consists of cereal – pulses – vegetables routine in the majority of meals and meat only a few meals, probably no more than a couple of days a week. So getting enough fibre is not a great problem for us.
Predominantly ‘meat only’ Western diets include little whole grain cereals and vegetables and probably lack adequate monounsaturated fatty acids as well as fibre. Hence some Western experts may advise a handful of nuts as snacks. But for Indians, the advice is totally misplaced.
Nor do we need nuts to give us proteins. Milk and a combination of cereals and pulses and legumes provide us with adequate proteins. Also the proteins in nuts are not of high quality, not containing all essential amino acids.
So we don’t need to buy a lot of fats to get some incomplete proteins and a little fibre.
A diet high in overall fat, and particularly saturated fats, builds more cholesterol in our blood.
Cheese will be 30 per cent fat, major part of it saturated, and ample cholesterol. Both are bad for your blood cholesterol levels and your heart.
We don’t need cheese to give us proteins and calcium; milk and leafy vegetables can provide them amply.
So snacking on nuts and cheese is bad for your weight as well as the heart. Make no mistake about it.
Eating either, in small quantity, occasionally isn’t exactly akin to committing suicide, but snacking on them every day definitely is!
Read more about the Basics Of Nutrition on our website.