Are You Nuts For Nuts?

Nuts can be natural and wonderful or they can be man-made and much less wonderful!

Nuts are undoubtedly one of the healthiest foods you can eat. Research shows that nut noshers have the slimmest waistlines and a significantly lower risk of heart disease.

But the benefits don’t end there. Nuts are packed with life-essential minerals, including magnesium and selenium. And they are a concentrated source of brain-nourishing and blood-sugar balancing fats.

However, manufacturers have found a way to mess with Mother Nature. For instance, the “Diamond” brand has been turning natural nuts into bad-for-you-nuts by adding genetically modified corn oil and BHT to its walnuts, hazelnuts, and other naturally pure tree nuts.

Protected by their shells, nuts are a relatively “clean” plant food and unadulterated by pesticide toxins even when grown conventionally. But add corn oil, which is high in inflammatory omega-6 fats, as well as being genetically modified almost 90 percent of the time, and you’ve completely changed their lipid profile and biochemical nature.

Corn oil itself is a preservative, but Diamond adds BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene) to ensure shelf stability. BHT prevents oxidation. It is used to preserve food odor, color, and flavor. It is banned in Australia, Japan, Romania, and Sweden due to its carcinogenic activity. In the United States, BHT is prohibited only in infant formula.

Avoid inflammatory corn oil and carcinogenic BHT by reading the labels before you buy. You’ll be pleasantly surprised to find that many inexpensive brands of nuts are free of these unnecessary additives. They contain only one simple ingredient: “nuts.”

So take a few moments and make sure the nuts you buy are the natural ones! Do what I do and buy pecans, almonds, and walnuts. Put them in a large container and mix them up. I call this my PAW recipe so my nuts are easy to access and already mixed up.