Nuts

I love nuts, and since beginning my near-vegan lifestyle I’ve been enjoying nuts with, or in many of my home cooked meals.

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I’ve done a bit of research on the nutrition provided by my favourite nuts, and here are my findings.

Key Points

  • Nuts in general are a great source of Vitamin E, which helps prevent heart disease, cancer, diabetes and aids the immune system (1)
  • Almonds
    Best for: Fibre, calcium, riboflavin (B2) — the B vitamin that’s good for the skin — and vitamin E.
    Good for: Protein, iron, magnesium, potassium (vital for a healthy nervous system), zinc (good for immune function), the vitamin niacin (which helps keep good skin) and copper.(2)
  • Cashews
    Best for: Iron and zinc.
    Good for: Protein, magnesium, potassium, vitamin B6, folate (a natural food form of the supplement folic acid, which is particularly important for women of child-bearing age), vitamin E, omega 3. (2)
  • Walnuts
    Best for: Antioxidants.
    Good for: fibre, calcium, iron, zinc, vitamin B6, folate, omega 3 fatty acids. (2)

Nuts I Eat Most Often – Nutrition Facts (3)

100 grams calories %
calories fat carbs fiber sugar protein fat carbs protein
Cashews 553 44 33 3 6 18 67% 20% 12%
Almonds 575 49 22 12 4 21 78% 5% 15%
Walnuts 654 65 14 7 3 15 87% 3% 9%
Pine nuts 673 68 13 4 4 14 87% 5% 8%

Nuts – Comprehensive Nutrition Facts

100 grams calories %
calories fat carbs fiber sugar protein fat carbs protein
Chestnuts 213 2 46 8 11 2 10% 81% 4%
Cashews 553 44 33 3 6 18 67% 20% 12%
Pistachio 557 44 28 10 8 21 72% 11% 15%
Peanuts 567 49 16 8 4 26 76% 4% 18%
Almonds 575 49 22 12 4 21 78% 5% 15%
Hazelnuts 628 61 17 10 4 15 86% 3% 9%
Walnuts 654 65 14 7 3 15 87% 3% 9%
Brazil nuts 656 66 12 8 2 14 89% 1% 8%
Pine nuts 673 68 13 4 4 14 87% 5% 8%
Pecans 691 72 14 10 4 9 93% 1% 5%
Macadamia 718 76 14 9 5 8 93% 1% 4%

Sources:

  1. http://www.ba.ars.usda.gov/hb66/nutritionalQuality.pdf
  2. http://sweetsdeluxe.vn/en/nuts-nutrition-facts-and-the-health-benefit-of-nuts/
  3. http://www.builtlean.com/2013/07/31/calories-nuts-chart/

Oils

With this post I want to share with you my research so far on oils, which are best for your health, and what provide you with some well researched facts.

Before beginning my cleanse, I used to cook regularly with either salted butter, olive oil, grape seed oil and more recently coconut oil.

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About Oils, Dr Dean Ornish writes in The Spectrum:

The American College of Cardiology found that olive oil significantly reduces your blood flow to various parts of your body, whereas canola oil and salmon do not. Of course, you want to increase blood flow to different parts of your body, not decrease it, especially your brain and your sexual organs. Similar results were found in another study in which olive oil impaired blood flow, whereas walnuts (which contain omega-3 fatty acids) improved blood flow.

The landmark Lyon Study found that a Mediterranean diet significantly reduced the incidence of heart attacks and premature deaths. Many people attribute these beneficial outcomes to an increased consumption of olive oil. However, in this study it was found that increased consumption of canola oil, not olive oil, accounted for these improvements. Also, people in this study consumed more whole-grain bread, more root vegetables and green vegetables, more fish, less red meat (beef, lamb, and pork were replaced by poultry), and more fruit every day. Butter and cream were replaced by margarine made from canola oil.

Why? Because canola oil has significant amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, whereas olive oil does not. The omega-3 fatty acids are truly good fats for most people. They have extraordinary health benefits, as I described earlier.

The omega-6 fatty acids are also essential to your diet. The problem is that most Americans consume too much of the omega-6 fatty acids and not enough of the omega-3 fatty acids. While the omega-3 fatty acids reduce inflammation, the omega-6 fatty acids increase it if you consume too much of them. Inflammation increases the risk of coronary heart disease and other chronic illnesses (described in more detail later in this chapter).

Ideally, the ratio of omega-6 fatty acids to omega-3 fatty acids should be about 1 to 1, or no more than 2 to 1. Unfortunately, the ratio in the average American diet (and now that of much of the rest of the world) is between 10 to 1 and 30 to 1, which means most people are consuming way more of the omega-6 fatty acids than the omega-3 fatty acids. The best way to improve this ratio is to consume more omega-3 fatty acids and fewer omega-6 fatty acids.

Much of the excessive omega-6 fatty acids come from eating the wrong kinds of oils. Although olive oil has the reputation of being “good for you,” it has thirteen times the amount of harmful omega-6 fatty acids as beneficial omega-3 fatty acids. Corn oil is even worse, with a 46 to 1 ratio of omega-6s to omega-3 s.

On the other hand, canola oil has a much more balanced ratio of 2 to 1 omega-6s to omega-3s. Flaxseed oil is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, with a ratio of 1 to 3 omega-6s to omega-3s.

So, to improve your ratio, consume more canola oil or fish oil (which contain omega-3 fatty acids) and less olive oil. This doesn’t mean you should never have olive oil—I like the taste of olive oil, and I enjoy it sometimes. It’s a healthier fat than many others, but it’s not nearly as healthy as fish oil, canola oil, or flaxseed oil.

 

Being honest, reading this left me thinking – err what is canola oil? I’ve never heard of it.

Researched… Canola oils is known as rapeseed oil in the U.K..

Until recently I’ve cooked with only butter, olive oil, grape seed oil, and coconut oil.

So! I’ll definitely get some canola oil and see what it’s like. I’ve put in an order for canola oil just now on rakuten from here.

 

—Key Facts About Canola Oil

OIL SFA (%) MUFA (%) PUFA (%) ω-6 (%) ω-3 (%) ω-9 (%) ω-6:3RATIO SMOKE POINT
Canola Oil 7.4 63.3 28.1 18.6 9.1 61.7 2.0 : 1 400°F (204°C)

 

—Comparing The Oils/Fats I Have Used in the Past—

OIL SFA (%) MUFA (%) PUFA (%) ω-6 (%) ω-3 (%) ω-9 (%) ω-6:3RATIO SMOKE POINT
Butter, Salted 63.3 25.9 3.8 2.7 0.4 20.9 6.9 : 1 250–300°F (121–149°C)
Coconut Oil 86.5 5.8 1.8 1.8 0.0 5.8 Not a source of ω-3 350°F (177°C) (extra virgin)
Grape Seed Oil 9.6 16.1 69.9 69.6 0.1 15.8 696 : 1 420°F (216°C)
Olive Oil 13.8 73.0 10.5 9.8 0.8 71.3 12.8 : 1 375°F (191°C) (extra virgin)

 

—Key Facts about Various Oils / Fats—

OIL SFA (%) MUFA (%) PUFA (%) ω-6 (%) ω-3 (%) ω-9 (%) ω-6:3RATIO SMOKE POINT
Almond Oil 8.2 69.9 17.4 17.4 0.0 69.4 Not a source of ω-3 420°F (216°C)
Avocado Oil 11.6 70.6 13.5 12.5 1.0 67.9 13.1 : 1 400°F (204°C) (extra virgin)
Beef Tallow 49.8 41.8 4.0 3.1 0.6 36.0 5.2 : 1 400°F (204°C)
Butter, Salted 63.3 25.9 3.8 2.7 0.4 20.9 6.9 : 1 250–300°F (121–149°C)
Butter Oil, Anhydrous 62.2 28.9 3.7 2.3 1.5 25.2 1.6 : 1 485°F (252°C)
Canola Oil 7.4 63.3 28.1 18.6 9.1 61.7 2.0 : 1 400°F (204°C)
Coconut Oil 86.5 5.8 1.8 1.8 0.0 5.8 Not a source of ω-3 350°F (177°C) (extra virgin)
Corn Oil 12.9 27.6 54.7 53.2 1.2 27.3 45.8 : 1 450°F (232°C) (refined)
Cottonseed Oil 25.9 17.8 51.9 51.5 0.2 17.0 257.5 : 1 420°F (216°C)
Flaxseed Oil, Cold-pressed 9.0 18.4 67.9 14.3 53.4 18.3 1 : 3.7 225°F (107°C)
Grape Seed Oil 9.6 16.1 69.9 69.6 0.1 15.8 696 : 1 420°F (216°C)
Hazelnut Oil 7.4 78.0 10.2 10.1 0.0 77.8 Not a source of ω-3 430°F (221°C)
Lard 39.2 45.1 11.2 10.2 1.0 41.2 10.2 : 1 370°F (188°C)
Macadamia Oil 16.1 80.0 1.8 1.4 0.4 56.4 3.2 : 1 413°F (210°C)
Mustard Oil 11.6 59.2 21.2 15.3 5.9 11.6 2.6 : 1 489°F (254°C)
Olive Oil 13.8 73.0 10.5 9.8 0.8 71.3 12.8 : 1 375°F (191°C) (extra virgin)
Palm Oil 49.3 37.0 9.3 9.1 0.2 36.6 45.5 : 1 455°F (235°C)
Palm Kernel Oil 81.5 11.4 1.6 1.6 0.0 11.4 Not a source of ω-3 450°F (232°C)
Peanut Oil 16.9 46.2 32.0 32.0 0.0 44.8 Not a source of ω-3 450°F (232°C) (refined)
Rice Bran Oil 19.7 39.3 35.0 33.4 1.6 39.1 20.9 : 1 490°F (254°C)
Safflower Oil, High Oleic Acid 7.5 75.2 12.8 12.7 0.1 74.7 132.5 : 1 510°F (266°C) (refined)
Sesame Oil 14.2 39.7 41.7 41.3 0.3 39.3 137.7 : 1 450°F (232°C) (semi-refined)
Soybean Oil, Refined 15.3 22.7 57.3 50.1 6.5 22.6 7.7 : 1 460°F (238°C) (refined)
Sunflower Oil, Less Than 60% Linoleic Acid 10.1 45.4 40.1 39.8 0.2 45.3 199 : 1 450°F (232°C) (refined)
Tea Seed Oil 21.1 51.5 23.0 22.2 0.7 49.9 31.7 : 1 485°F (252°C)
Walnut Oil 9.1 22.8 63.3 52.9 10.4 22.2 5.1 : 1 400°F (204°C) (semi-refined)
Wheat Germ Oil 18.8 15.1 61.7 54.8 6.9 14.6 7.9 : 1 225°F (107°C)

Terms:
SFA: Saturated fatty acids – Best to avoid in excess [Dean Ornish: “raises risk of developing cardiovascular disease”]
MUFA: Monounsaturated fatty acids– Good for you [Dean Ornish: “found in many nuts; carries lower risk of developing cardiovascular disease”]
PUFA: Polyunsaturated fatty acids– Even better for you 
ω-3: Omega-3 fatty acids– Great for you, especially your brain 
ω-6: Omega-6 fatty acids [Dean Ornish: “essential for your diet in small quantities”]
ω-9: Omega-9 fatty acids
ω-6:3 Ratio: Omega-6 to omega-3 ratio
Smoke Point: The temperature at which a cooking oil starts to burn and produce chemicals that are potentially harmful.

 

—The Long Term of Affect of Fats on CD (Cardiovascular Heart Disease)—
DietaryFat-CHD