Thursday, October 8, 2009

Nuts over Nuts

If I haven’t told you yet, I LOVE peanuts. Well, nuts in general, really. (Even though peanuts are technically legumes, I still tend to lump them all together) I eat a LOT of peanut butter, almond butter and food containing nuts. It’s really a very good thing that I don’t have a peanut allergy. It would probably be about as bad for my psyche and soul as if I somehow became allergic to chocolate! I truly believe that chocolate and peanut butter together is the best flavor combination ever discovered. My husband thinks I’m odd because I like peanut butter on my BLT’s. Yes, that’s right. Don’t diss it until you try it! Peanut Butter & Co even has it on their menu, so I must not be the only one who likes it.

Not only are nuts incredibly tasty, but many help your heart, too! It seems that as part of a healthy diet, eating nuts can help keep LDL cholesterol (the bad kind) low. Walnuts, almonds, macadamia nuts, and hazelnuts are some of the best for your heart. High in Omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, vitamin E, l-arginine (a substance that appears to help improve the health of artery walls), and plant sterols. While nuts generally have a good amount of fat, it is the good, non-saturated fat that we need in our diets. So don’t be afraid to have a small handful of nuts every day, or a serving of peanut or almond butter. Just be sure not to overdo it (which is easy for me!).
Remember earlier this year when there was the nationwide peanut recall due to a salmonella outbreak? Yeah, I was pretty nervous about it. I checked the list of recalled items several times and was relieved to find out that most peanut butter was clear. None of the products contaminated were sold directly to consumers, but many were ingredients for other products – snack bars, candies, baked goods, ice cream – so it was and still is, important to make sure what you’re eating is safe.

Just this past Thursday, The Peanut Corporation of America was ordered by a U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge to create a $12M fund to reimburse people for health costs associated to the outbreak. The company’s products were linked to 9 deaths and hundreds of illnesses. The PCA declared bankruptcy after thousands of products had to be recalled. I hope this becomes a lesson to food processors that they need to be careful and diligent about how their ingredients are handled and the cleanliness of their facilities. If the health of consumers doesn’t matter much to them, hopefully at the very least, the health of their company and their job does.

The FDA has great, up to date information on food product recalls and safety information that you may not hear of on the news. It’s a great resource that I think a lot of people overlook.

If you have children, visit Read For The Record while you're online today to see how they're working to promote reading among children with a country wide reading event of one of the very best children's books The Very Hungry Caterpillar! The perfect excuse to make a peanut butter & jelly sandwich, grab a good book, and spend a little time with a kid.

1 comment:

Barbara said...

I have peanut butter and a light , multi-grain english muffin for breakfast just about every morning. That's really helped me with my 60lbs+ weight loss and keeping it off for almost 8 years now.
Love the photo at the top !