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Nuts & Seeds

Nuts are excellent sources of fibre, Vitamin E, magnesium, zinc, selenium, copper, potassium, phosphorus, biotin, riboflavin, niacin and iron. One ounce of nuts contains 165-200 calories and typically 14-21 grams of fat. We don't recommend large portions of nuts because of the high calorie content, but a little sprinkled on salads, as a snack or as part cereal they are certainly a welcome addition to a healthy diet.

Research has shown high protein - low carbohydrate diets to be more effective at reducing weight and are easier to stick to than simply low fat diets. Our products are low in saturated fat (bad fats), but contain healthy unsaturated fats and many include essential omega-3 and -6.   Going on a diet too low in essential fats is not the best way to lose weight quickly - A certain amount of healthy fats (we recommend a minimum of 7g) are needed for the bodies essential functions, going too low on essential good fats can actually increase the risk of developing or aggravating gallstones and dieters may experience common side effects attributed to a low fat / VLCD plan for example hair shedding, dry skin, splitting nails. 

 We agree with Professional Obesity & Weight Loss Clinics that including a little more healthy fat safeguards continued good health and feel it is a positive action for continued good health whilst dieitng. KeeDiet are happy to recommend - 3 TIMES A WEEK that 1tbls / x6 small unsalted nuts / 1tbls of seeds to eat, if you feel this will be too tempting at weight loss stage simply add nut/seed oil to your salad as a dressing. ............................. you can even make your own dressing by flavouring with favourites for example, garlic, chilli.  

Fat content in our VLCD Total range is sufficient and therefore inclusion is a choice, and it could be advantageous to trial.

Definitions: 

  • Saturated Fats - the ‘bad’ fats which are known to raise blood cholesterol levels

  • Monounsaturated Fats - the ‘good’ fats' which can lower blood cholesterol level

  • Polyunsaturated Fats - ‘in between fat’ which has some good and bad properties

  • Trans Fatty Acid - a man made fat which is worse for you than saturated fats. These are made when certain oils are heated (see below) and are also present in foods which contain hydrogenated oils such as margarine. If you use margarine buy one that is non-hydrogenated. Read food labels and avoid all products which contain hydrogenated oils.

Almost every type of nut has a lot of nutrition packed into a tiny self-contained package and are an ideal healthy snack if consumed raw (excluding salted, oil cooked or roasted or tampered with in anyway for example honey roasted).  The type of nut or seed you eat isn't that important, although some nuts/seeds have more heart-healthy nutrients and fats than others.  Walnuts, Almonds, Hazelnuts, you name them, as shown below they contain a variety of nutrients and healthy fats.  If you feel eating a small portion of nuts or seeds is just too much temptation, then use nut/seed oils on your salads, many of our clients seem to love this idea and it can add a distincit flavour to vegetables and salads.  Remember you can always add even more flavour to your healthy seed or nut dressing by using garlic or chille to marinade.

 

NUTS

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Brazils nuts are particularly healthy due to their high selenium content, 4 brazils contain all the selenium you need for a day which makes their protein content "complete". This means that, unlike the proteins in most plant products, Brazil nuts' proteins contain all the necessary amino acids to foster optimal growth in humans (in the same way as proteins from animal products do). Selenium is also a powerful antioxidant linked to lower rates of cancer and heart disease. Brazil nuts are also a very good source of zinc (essential to digestion and metabolism). 

Macadamia nuts provide a wide range of beneficial compounds. They are a high energy food, full of protein and fibre and loaded with other important nutrients that, in concert, impact favourably on human health. Macadamias have a rich, buttery flavour that makes them unbeatable. They can be eaten raw or roasted, whole or chopped.

Almonds are a good source of protein, vitamin E, manganese, magnesium, copper, vitamin B2 (riboflavin), and phosphorus. Almonds are also concentrated in protein; a quarter-cup contains more protein than the typical egg. Although one-quarter cup of almonds contains about 18 grams of fat, most of it (11 grams) is heart-healthy monounsaturated fat. Eating almonds can lower bad cholesterol, reduce the risk of heart disease, provide protection against cardiovascular disease and diabetes, boost energy, and help prevent gallstones. Whole almonds (with skins) provide the most heart-healthy benefits.

Cashews are high in antioxidants and have a lower fat content than most other nuts; additionally, 75 percent of their fat is unsaturated fatty acids. Cashews are also a good source of monounsaturated fats, copper, and a good source of magnesium and phosphorous. Eating cashews promotes good cardiovascular health, even in individuals with diabetes.

Peanuts are a good source of heart-healthy monosaturated fat, flavonoid (resveratrol), antioxidants, phytosterols, phytic acid (inositol hexaphosphate), and folic acid, making them heart-healthy, a good way to reduce your risk of stroke, and possibly even cancer. Peanuts are also a good source of vitamin B3 (niacin), folate, copper, manganese, and protein, and are a significant source of resveratrol, a chemical studied for potential anti-aging effects.. Peanuts and peanut butter may also help prevent gallstones and protect against Alzheimer's disease.

Walnuts are an excellent source of omega-3 essential fatty acids. Walnuts are also a good source of manganese, and copper. Walnuts are also an important source of healthy (monounsaturated) fats. Eating walnuts may benefit your cardiovascular system, improve cholesterol in individuals with type 2 diabetes, help brain functions, protect bone health, and help prevent gallstones. Walnuts also have bio-available melatonin, which helps regulate sleep.

Pecans are extremely satisfying. For people who are much concerned about losing weight or are anxious to go beyond their ideal weight, the best snack food for them are pecans. Pecans are low in carbohydrates, a very good source of protein that are easily digestible, and contain minimal sugar, low in saturated fat, and contain no trans-fat. Compared to other snack foods, your pecan nut, when eaten in moderation, is definitely beyond compare in many terms. So instead of reaching out for that bag of chips while you're on a movie marathon with friends, get yourself some or even roasted pecans treats and you sure are not only satisfying your sweet tooth cravings, you're also doing your health one big favor.


Coconuts is highly nutritious and rich in fibre, vitamins, and minerals. It is classified as a "functional food" because it provides many health benefits beyond its nutritional content. Coconut oil is of special interest because it possesses healing properties. Once mistakenly believed to be unhealthy because of its high saturated fat content, it is now known that the fat in coconut oil is a unique and different from most all other fats and possesses many health giving properties. It is now gaining long overdue recognition as a nutritious health food although you may wish to do a little more personal research as Nutritional camps are still divided as you can see from the insert below. 

 

 

SEEDS & OILS DERIVED FROM NUTS & SEEDS

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Flax seeds/oil Has a nutty taste and you can sprinkle them on cereal, salads, and just about any dish you want. They are great to have with cottage cheese and, in fact, the combination of flax seeds and cottage cheese. Flaxseeds, also known as linseeds, are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids. Flaxseeds may provide anti-inflammatory benefits, protect your bones, and protect against heart disease, breast cancer, and diabetes. Eating flaxseeds also lowers blood pressure in men with high cholesterol. Flaxseeds are also rich in fibre and manganese and are a good source of folate, vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), magnesium, phosphorous, and copper, and lignan phytonutrients. You'll need to grind them up first (or purchase ground flaxseed) to gain the most nutritional benefits.

Hazelnut Oil This is a delicious, richly flavored oil that is extracted from the nut. Produced mainly in France, it is expensive and should be used with the finest vinegars for salad dressings, or as a marinade for fish or poultry. Its delicate flavor is lost when heated, but it can be whisked into a sauce at the last minute or used for baked goods in combination with hazelnuts.

Pine Seed Oil With a distinctive pine seed flavor, this oil is produced on a small scale primarily in France. It is quite costly but the flavor will never disappoint. Use it for salads; it is especially delicious when added to a dipping sauce for artichokes.

Pumpkin Seeds / Oil This is a dark brown oil with a pleasant flavour of toasted pumpkin seeds. It is popular in Austria, where most of it is produced. Use as a last-minute seasoning for steamed vegetables or fish. Eating the green, hulled, pumpkin seeds (also called pepitas) may promote prostate health, protection for men's bones, anti-inflammatory benefits for those with arthritis, and help lower cholesterol. Pumpkin seeds are a good source of the essential fatty acids, potassium, phosphorous, magnesium, manganese, zinc, iron, and copper, protein, and vitamin K.

Sesame Seeds / Oil There are many types of this oil. European, or cold-pressed sesame oil, is light in color and nutty in flavor with a high smoke point, making it a good cooking oil. Asian sesame oil is made from toasted sesame seeds, giving it a darker color and more pronounced taste. Middle Eastern sesame oils are lighter in flavor than Asian ones, with a deep golden color. All are aromatic and capable of being heated to a high temperature.  Sesame seeds and tahini are rich in beneficial minerals. Not only are sesame seeds a very good source of manganese and copper, but they are also a good source of calcium, magnesium, iron, phosphorous, vitamin B1 (thiamin), zinc, dietary fiber, and healthy (monosaturated) fats. They contain powerful antioxidants called lignans, which are also anti-carcinogenic. They also contain phytosterols, which block cholesterol production. Sesame contains one lignan unique to it called sesamin. Eating sesame seeds may help lower cholesterol, provide relief for rheumatoid arthritis, and support vascular and respiratory health. The nutrients of sesame seeds are better absorbed if they are ground or pulverized before consumption.

Sunflower Seeds / Oil This is one of the best allpurpose oils. It is high in polyunsaturates, tasteless, pale, light in texture, and inexpensive. It can be used for frying, cooking, salad dressings, and mixing with other more strongly flavored oils. Eating sunflower seeds may help provide anti-inflammatory and cardiovascular benefits, lower cholesterol, and prevent cancer. Sunflower seeds are an excellent source of vitamin E. Sunflower seeds are also an excellent source of linoleic acid (an essential fatty acid), dietary fiber, protein, and minerals such as magnesium and selenium, and are high in cholesterol-lowering phytosterols.

Vegetable Oil This is an oil obtained from blending a number of oils in various proportions, and types and quantities are not necessarily given on the label. It may contain coconut or palm oils, which are high in saturated fats. Vegetable oil has little aroma or flavor, making it popular as a allpurpose culinary oil.

Walnut Oil Adelicious topaz-colored oil, with a rich, nutty flavor. Walnuts from the Perigord and Dordogne in France are said to produce the best oil. In these regions, walnuts are strictly graded for quality; it is even possible for one tree to have two separate grades of walnut. Production is small, therefore this oil is expensive. Walnut oil does not keep long, either opened or unopened, so buy in small quantities and keep in a cool place, but not in the refrigerator. It makes a delicious salad dressing, and in baking it adds flavor to cakes, especially those that contain walnuts. It is also good with fish, poultry, and vegetables, or use wherever a walnut taste will marry well with the ingredients

Olive Oil (the exception to the seed/nut rule - Olive oil is a natural juice which preserves the taste, aroma, vitamins and properties of the olive fruit. 

Olive oil is the only non-vegetable oil that can be consumed  as it is - freshly pressed from the fruit)

The beneficial health effects of olive oil are due to both its high content of monounsaturated fatty acides and its high content of antioxidative substances. Studies have shown that olive oil offers protection against heart disease by controlling LDL ("bad") cholesterol levels while raising HDL (the "good" cholesterol) levels. No other naturally produced oil has as large an amount of monounsaturated as olive oil -mainly oleic acid.

Olive oil is very well tolerated by the stomach. In fact, olive oil's protective function has a beneficial effect on ulcers and gastritis. Olive oil activates the secretion of bile and pancreatic hormones much more naturally than prescribed drugs. Consequently, it lowers the incidence of gallstone formation.When buying olive oil you will want to obtain a high quality EXTRA VIRGIN oil. The oil that comes from the first "pressing" of the olive, is extracted without using heat (a cold press) or chemicals, and has no "off" flavors is awarded "extra virgin" status. The less the olive oil is handled, the closer to its natural state, the better the oil. If the olive oil meets all the criteria, it can be designated as "extra virgin". 

Breakdown of Fat Types
in Various Oils

The following points regarding the above graph should be noted: 

  • Notice that Olive oil has the largest proportion of monounsaturated fats. These are the "good" fats that are desirable in your diet.

  • Also of note is the extremely large proportion of saturated fat (the "bad" fat) in coconut oil. This is common of other tropical oils such as palm oil. Palm oil is the oil that got a lot of attention when it was discovered that movie popcorn was being popped in this evil oil.

  • While Canola oil appears to be the best oil of the bunch due to its low amount of saturated fat and relatively high levels of poly and monounsaturated fats, the benefit of the high levels of monounsaturated fat in Olive oil outweigh the benefits of lower levels of saturated fat in the Canola oil. Another important factor which should be considered is the fact that Olive oil (as well as Peanut oil) does not breakdown into trans-fatty acids at high heat and can therefore be used in cooking. You should avoid cooking with oils other than Olive or Peanut oil.

  • (Included for Maintenance & Healthy Lifestyle planning) Butter and margarine are also outlined above. Different types of margarine will have different proportions of the above fats. If you cook with margarine (ie-fry foods) the heat will create trans-fatty acids in the margarine (even in non-hydrogenated margarines) so in this instance you would be better to use butter which does not breakdown in the heat. Better still is to switch to Olive oil because then you don’t have to worry about trans-fatty acids or saturated fats. Margarines which are made with Olive oil make a good choice but your best bet is to avoid them all together because there is not a lot of benefit that comes from eating margarine or butter.

  • To summarize, use more olive oil, avoid tropical oils, eliminate hydrogenated oils and trans fatty acids from your diet. These are simple steps towards good heal

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