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39

FOOD

making carbs count

Nutrition

100g of plain cashews with

recommended daily allowance

for an adult:

Calories 608kcal (9%)

Fat 49.1g (21%)

Carbohydrate 18.7g (2%);

Sugars 6.7g (2%)

Protein 20.4g (12%)

Salt 0.04g

the calorie count. A study published

in the Journal of the American

College of Nutrition found that 'nut

consumption is associated with a

decreased prevalence of selected risk

factors for cardiovascular disease,

type 2 diabetes, and metabolic

syndrome'. It's also thought that the

body uses up most of the fat from

cashews in the digestive process, so

this offsets the high calorie count.

However, a note of caution needs to

be sounded about roasted and salted

nuts which although tastier, are likely

to be much higher in calories, fat,

saturated fat and salt than plain nuts.

Cashew nuts in particular

are a rich source of magnesium

- containing 250.0mg per 100

grammes - which has been shown

to slow the rate of carbohydrate

absorption, causing blood sugar

levels to rise more slowly. Despite

how vital magnesium is in helping

regulate blood sugar levels, a large

number of people with diabetes

are commonly diagnosed with

magnesium deficiency. This is usually

associated with insulin resistance so

it's worth knowing which foods are

your friends when seeking to boost

magnesium levels.

Nuts and pros

Like many of their nutty

counterparts, the cashew nut is a

great source of protein, which is

what makes them such a popular

choice for those on a plant-based

diet. Plain cashew nuts contain 20g

of protein per 100g - the same as a

similar quantity of meat which makes

them a great substitute. As well as a

quick and nutritious snack when you

are on the go, cashews can be used

to make:

Cereal bars with oats, dried fruit

and honey

Trail mix when combined with

other nuts, seeds, and dried fruit

Homemade cashew butter (a bit

like peanut butter) by blending

whole, plain cashews in a food

processor until smooth

A crunchy topping on main courses

like chicken or meat when mixed

with herbs and spices

Cakes and muffins with a sweeter

taste and rich, moist texture

A quick and tasty pudding with

apples, yogurt and honey -

ingredients that go surprisingly

well together

If you like the taste, look out for

cashew oil and milk or cashew

related beauty products. Avoid

cashews if you have a nut allergy as

cashews belong to a group of nuts

including walnuts, hazelnuts and

brazils that certain people with nut

allergies need to avoid.

In a nutshell

Wider health benefits of cashews

People who regularly eat nuts

like cashews which are high in

unsaturated fat are less at risk

of heart disease than those

who don't.

Cashews are also a good

source of fibre and contain

almost the same amount

of protein as an equivalent

quantity of cooked meat.

Cashews may lower

cholesterol and blood sugar

when used as part of a healthy,

balanced diet. A 2018 study

showed that people with

diabetes who ate cashew nuts

every day had lower blood

sugar than their counterparts

who didn't.

Like many nuts and seeds,

cashew nuts are full of

antioxidants that can help

keep your body healthy by

fighting off free radicals.

A 40g portion of cashews

contains: 98% of your daily

copper requirements, which

can help blood cells form,

improve growth, help the

brain to develop, and protect

the immune system; 34% of

your daily phosphorus, which

helps maintain bone and teeth

health; and 29% of your

daily manganese, which helps

the body perform chemical

reactions, like converting food

into energy.

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