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Being Nut-wise: Busting the myths about almonds
Almonds are known to be one of the most popular nuts, and whilst they are enjoyed by people across the globe, there are some age-old myths associated with them.
India is one of the world's oldest and most diverse cultures. Being home to varied traditions and age-old wisdom, food is a significant part that binds the country together. But often, facts get confused with cultural values. This leads to an abundance in myths, many of which we fail to overlook and tend to believe in blindly.
What really matters is that research keep changing, and so do their results. Hence, it is also not hard to believe that not all food myths are actually true.
But, it's time to leave behind all the common myths and understand them in a better and wiser manner. Regional Head-Dietetics, Max Healthcare - Delhi, Ritika Samaddar shares some facts against the myths associated with almonds.
Myth 1: Eat only 5-6 almonds a day
We often come hear how 5-6 almonds are the most suitable quantity for daily consumption. However, it is recommended to consume an ounce of almonds (approximately 23 almonds) to get the health benefits. Almonds are a healthy source of energy and munching on a handful of almonds (30 grams/ 23 almonds) may help you stay active. Not just this, researchers also estimated that a daily serving of almonds (30 grams/ 23 almonds) may improve both short-term and long-term markers of blood sugar control in those with uncomplicated type 2 diabetes.
Myth 2: Almonds result in weight gain
Consumption of almonds is frequently linked to weight gain and it is commonly believed that almonds are calorie-laden. However, studies have shown that a handful of almonds may have satiating properties that promote feelings of fullness, which may keep hunger at bay between meals. In addition to this, studies have found that snacking on almonds also reduced central adiposity (belly fat) and waist circumference. Thus, eating almonds has been shown to contribute towards weight management.
Myth 3: Almonds are not vegan
It's likely for most people to come across the latest news that's making the rounds, about almonds not being vegan. The Vegan Society defines veganism as "a way of living which seeks to exclude, as far as is possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose." While the definition highlights that veganism aims to exclude animal use, cruelty and exploitation, it is also important to acknowledge the fact that it is practically impossible to live in a world where we are completely independent of animals.
Due to modern lifestyles, our food system relies heavily on farms that utilize bees to pollinate the crops. Therefore, veganism, in its true sense, is rather about doing one's best not to cause harm to animals. Almonds, are in fact, filled with nutritional benefits and have a significant role to play in aiding a healthier lifestyle.
Myth 4: Almonds should only be consumed in the morning
Consuming almonds as a morning ritual only is an age-old tradition that surfaces in almost all families in India. However, what's good is that not just morning, you can consume almonds at any time during the day. Almonds are a versatile nut, and can be eaten in any form - raw, as a snack and as part of a meal or a dessert. Whether at home, work or on the go, a handful of almonds are a convenient snack that can be eaten anywhere, any time of the day and through the year. You could keep some almonds handy in a tiffin box so you'll always have your perfect daily portion.
Myth 5: Soaked almonds are better than raw almonds
Have you heard people saying that consuming overnight soaked almonds has better nutritional benefits than eating raw almonds? If so, eating soaked almonds over raw almonds is a popular myth believed by most people in India. However, contrary to this, soaked almonds are only easier to chew, and have no impact on the nutritional benefits of almonds. Crunchy to eat, and rich in Vitamin B2, Vitamin E, magnesium and phosphorous, almonds are a powerhouse of nutrition, be it in any form.
To stay safe and healthy, it is best to consult an expert and opt for a healthier lifestyle. So, the next time you come across any of these myths, you know your stance!
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