Awww, nuts!

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I am sitting in my parents’ dining room as I write this. Today is my Dad’s birthday and Sunday will be Father’s day. My Dad is at the kitchen table with a whole pile of nuts that he is eating because they are good for either his cholesterol, blood glucose or his brain. When did we start shopping at the grocery store as if it were a pharmacy? What happened to ” I haven’t had nuts for a while and they would be a nice snack for a change”?

I don’t like to admit it, but I always learn something from him when I come here. This week it is “omega 7 fatty acids”. Found in macadamia nut oil and fish oil, it is being touted as an important tool in overall heart health.

Omega 7 fatty acids are a class of unsaturated fats and apparently the most common in nature are palmitoleic and vaccenic acids.  The “7” notation refers to the site of the double bond as being located at the 7th carbon from the end of the carbon chain.                           For example:   CH3-(CH2)5-CH=CH-(CH2)n-CO2H.

According to a Mayo Clinic article (http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/nuts/HB00085) almost all nuts can be a healthy addition to a heart-conscious diet. They can be a good source of unsaturated fats, Vitamin E, fiber, plant sterols and omega 3’s. While each nut has a specific health benefit profile they are also high in calories because of the fat content. The table below gives a snapshot of the calorie content of various nuts per one ounce serving.

Type of nut Calories Total fat
(saturated/unsaturated fat)*
Almonds, raw 163 14 g (1.1 g/12.2 g)
Almonds, dry roasted 169 15 g (1.1 g/12.9 g)
Brazil nuts, raw 186 19 g (4.3 g/12.8 g)
Cashews, dry roasted 163 13.1 g (2.6 g/10 g)
Chestnuts, roasted 69 0.6 g (0.1 g/0.5 g)
Hazelnuts (filberts), raw 178 17 g (1.3 g/15.2 g)
Hazelnuts (filberts), dry roasted 183 17.7 g (1.3 g/15.6 g)
Macadamia nuts, raw 204 21.5 g (3.4 g/17.1 g)
Macadamia nuts, dry roasted 204 21.6 g (3.4 g/17.2 g)
Peanuts, dry roasted 166 14 g (2g/11.4 g)
Pecans, dry roasted 201 21 g (1.8 g/18.3 g)
Pistachios, dry roasted 161 12.7 g (1.6 g/10.5 g)
Walnuts, halved 185 18.5 g (1.7 g/15.9 g)

*The saturated and unsaturated fat contents in each nut may not add up to the total fat content because the fat value may also include some non-fatty acid material, such as sugars or phosphates.

But back to the Omega 7: I haven’t had time to really research it so I don’t have an opinion one way or the other, yet. But according to the article that my father showed me, Cleveland Clinic‘s Dr. Michael Roizen will be involved in human clinical trials. I have great respect for Dr. Roizen so I will remain open-minded this time.

Happy Birthday, Dad!

By Nadine

About nadineandadamblog

Nadine and Adam are mother and son. Nadine lives in Florida where she has provided outpatient MNT in a large healthsystem for the past 20 years. In addition, she teaches nutrition to second and third year family medicine residents. She is a past-spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Adam lives in Washington State. His career has largely been involved in recipe development and food production. He is currently developing recipes and menus for the Seattle schools to meet the new federal guidelines for school nutrition programs and he does outpatient nutrition counseling. He is also a voice in PSAs over Seattle radio representing the Washington Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
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