Food of the Month

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Go nuts for life
Dietitian and Nuts for Life program manager says: ‘Bring back the Waldorf Salad – lettuce, apple, walnuts and dressing.’ We asked why.

‘Well, nuts are among the superheros of the modern day diet just as they were in Paleolithic times’ says Lisa. ‘They are a source of good fats, healthy protein and fibre, particularly soluble fibre, which improves blood glucose levels, helps insulin work more effectively, and lowers LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels in people with diabetes. But you do have to be sensible about quantities (a serving is a handful (30–50 g/1–1¾ oz) and say no thanks to the tempting salted kinds.


Studies show:

  1. Enjoying a handful of nuts 5–7 times a week can halve your risk of developing heart disease. Even people who eat nuts once a week have less heart disease than those who don’t eat any nuts. How come? It’s possible the unique combination of healthy fats, fibre, antioxidants, arginine and plant sterols all working together give nuts their heart healthy benefits.
  2. The arginine in nuts helps insulin work more effectively. It can also improve the overall health of blood vessels, helping prevent complications of diabetes.
  3. The fibre and protein found in nuts can help satisfy the appetite for longer helping you cut back on picking when you get the munchies. Substitute a snack of nuts or a trail mix of nuts, seeds and dried fruit for biscuits, cakes, pastries and fried snack foods.’

Get more nuts into your day by:

  • Sprinkling almonds or cashews through a stir fry.
  • Roasting chestnuts or pine nuts and tossing them through a salad.
  • Chopping walnuts or Brazils and add them to a dipping sauce.
  • Crumbling pecans into yoghurt and serving with fruit or sprinkling chopped, roasted hazelnuts or almonds over low fat ice cream.
  • Crumbling macadamias or pistachios over grilled fish.
  • Adding roasted pine nuts to pasta dishes.
  • Blending pistachios or macadamias with fresh herbs, parmesan and a little olive oil for pesto.

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