One of the books I’ve been loving lately is one my sister loaned me called Eat Fat, Get Thin. I too thought the name was kind of silly, but as you start reading it the book, the title really starts to make sense. It’s all about the healthy fats that should be an essential part of our diets in order to prevent a plethora of diseases, and the author sites a ton of studies that have over and over again shown the benefits of eating nuts. They include:
- reduced risk of heart attack by 30%
- lower risk of type 2 diabetes
- more weight loss
- better cholesterol
Essentially, nuts are awesome, but in moderation. I often have to remind myself to stop taking a spoon to the almond butter jar like it’s a smoothie. I’ve added them in everywhere in my diet from putting hazelnuts on salads to making dressing from cashews.
The fake nut
While I’ve incorporated many more nuts into my diet, there’s one nut that I’ve actually cut back on: the peanut. The reason I’ve significantly decreased my consumption of peanuts is because I realized that they’re actually not nuts at all. Peanuts are technically considered legumes due to the fact that they grow in the ground (more on that here).
While the studies on gut health are still new, legumes which contain phytic acid and lectin appear to be not all that great for your gut health. This is big even if you don’t experience bloating or cramping after eating peanuts because these same studies are showing that the gut actually has a big impact on the neurotransmitters in your brain. I’m still learning more about the whole gut health thing, so be on the lookout for a blog on that at a later date. Now, I just want to put the disclaimer out there that I haven’t completely banned peanuts from my diet. I still eat my peanut butter Perfect Bars from time to time.
Almond butter: the holy grail
Now what I do instead is opt for almond butter over peanut butter. Even with almond butter, you have to be careful at the grocery store. Almond butter can be packed with sugar, salt, and extra oils that you don’t need and aren’t good for you. Trader Joe’s has a good almond butter with one simple ingredient: almonds! Woohoo! Trust me, it’s a lot harder to find almond butter with just almonds than you’d think. Or you could do what I do and make your own! The picture in this post is the almond butter I made this weekend. The recipe is copied step-by-step from Megan Gillmore on her Detoxinista page here. It was my first time making it homemade, and I am never going back. It’s so easy and, I kid you not, is the best almond butter I’ve ever had!
Making homemade recipes with almonds is definitely my preferred method. If you want to check out my recipe for homemade almond milk, click here!