Thursday, 23 July 2015

Macadamias for your shape

Myth busting

Contrary to popular belief, nuts are not especially fattening. In fact studies have shown including nuts in a healthy kilojoule-controlled eating plan can actually help with weight loss. This is probably because nuts are satisfying and don’t increase blood glucose and insulin levels that can trigger hunger. The idea that nuts are fattening came from the mistaken idea that foods with naturally high oil content cause weight gain. We now know it’s not as simple as that, and weight is determined by how many kilojoules you eat and how much exercise you do, not how much oil you eat – especially when it’s inside naturally nutritious whole foods like nuts. High-fat fast food and buttery cakes and pastries are a different story!  Even if you want to lose weight, you can still include a handful of macadamias a day, and ideally in place of less nutritious snacks like cakes, biscuits, potato crisps or crackers. Your whole diet will be better for it.  We have more on Weight at our Health Professionals page.

A study of more than 13,000 people in the USA found the people who ate tree nuts (such as macadamias) had a better diet overall and higher nutrient intakes. The authors concluded healthy eating recommendations should include specific advice to eat nuts.

Weight loss in a nutshell

In order to lose weight you need to eat fewer kilojoules (or calories), and ideally burn more kilojoules through physical activity and exercise. Weight loss is all about controlling how many kilojoules you consume, while optimal health is about eating nutrient-rich foods. Combining these two principles is the best recipe for a slimmer, healthier and happier you.

The healthiest way to lose weight is to eat fewer nutrient-poor foods and focus on eating just enough nutritious core foods to meet your needs: whole grains, vegetables, legumes, lean meats and fish, low fat dairy foods, fruit, nuts such as macadamias, seeds and healthy oils. And, of course, be more physically active.

Macadamias are nutritious core foods that deliver great nutritional value: you could say they deliver a good bang for your kilojoule buck! And because they taste so wonderful, you won’t feel like you’re missing out. Forget about fat-free, tasteless and boring diets, eating to achieve and maintain a healthy weight should be enjoyable so you can stick with it.

Where do macadamias fit in?

Healthy eating guides around the world divide foods into food groups, and recommended we eat foods from all the food groups every day. For people wishing to lose weight, the amounts are smaller but eating foods from every group is still necessary for a nutritionally adequate and heart-friendly diet. In the case of macadamias and other nuts, they are considered part of the meat and alternative groups (ideal for meals without meat). Macadamias are considered a meat alternative (ideal for vegetarian meals) but they can also be considered part of the healthy oils group.

The food groups

  • Vegetables and legumes/beans
  • Fruit
  • Grain (cereal) foods mostly wholegrain, such as breads, cereals, rice, pasta, noodles, polenta, couscous, oats, quinoa and barley
  • Lean meat and poultry, fish, eggs, nuts and seeds, and legumes/beans
  • Milk, yoghurt, cheese and/or alternatives


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