Walnuts for a healthier diet!

Where possible, this blog tends to avoid talking about specific foods or individual exercises. Why? Well because just as one swallow doesn’t make a summer, one food or one one exercise doesn’t create the perfect fitness regime. You can fill your diet with one food that is unquestionably beneficial and still live a relatively unhealthy life. Equally, you can focus on one superb exercise and still neglect others that are essential to maximising your results. 

That being said, there are certain foods that knowing the benefits of will always be a good thing. And that is why I want to talk about walnuts today. Because nobody should read this and think that they can eat nothing but walnuts and expect to have the figure they want. And they shouldn’t think that walnuts will replace exercise. Everything this blog discusses is just a small part of the overall package.

Now I haven’t just picked walnuts randomly of course. They have been popping up in the news recently for their properties that suggest they may help prevent diabetes, as well as help to control it. We have discussed the reliability of studies here before, so I am cautious when I say this, but: a recent study has found that regular consumption of walnuts can reduce bad cholesterol in the elderly and help to protect against heart disease. But there are studies and then there are studies. Fortunately, this one took place over two years and incorporated cooperation between multiple institutions, which is always what we look for!

  1. Low GI – A low glycemic index is not just great for diabetics, it is desirable for us all. A spike in blood sugar, caused by foods with a high GI, can give us a boost of energy but they won’t fill you up and that means you are more likely to start snacking. Walnuts make us maintain that full feeling because they don’t cause our blood sugar levels to spike.
  2. Vitamin concentration – For something so small, a walnut is surprisingly packed full of the things we need. The vitamin E that we find is great for our skin and, along with the relatively high levels of omega 3, is shown to contribute to healthier brain function.
  3. Snacking substitution – The ideal scenario would be that everybody knew exactly what they need to be eating in order to achieve their goals. But the reality is that isn’t the case. And that means that for a lot of people the best way to start eating the right things is to substitute the things that they know they need to cut down on. Nuts are brilliant for this. They fill you up without the need to eat them non-stop, they are relatively inexpensive and they taste great! So starting off by swapping chocolate for walnuts is the perfect way to establish a healthier nutrition program.

Most nuts will fit nicely into a healthy eating regime and a lot of them contain similar vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that contribute towards healthy bodily functions. This doesn’t mean they are all perfect, of course they aren’t. Excessive consumption of any food is likely to have negative consequences and a lot of nuts have a high fat content. Yes, this tends to be unsaturated fats, which are the ones you want to try and focus on eating but fat is still fat. No food is a magic recipe for success but the walnut might be a fantastic addition to your diet that you are missing out on!

Ollie Lawrence
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