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TOPIC: Almonds vs. Cashews

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January 10, 2009 1:29 PM
Whenever I look at "diets" I always see that you're supposed to snack on raw, unsalted almonds cuz of the protein and the good kind of fat in them. (is there such a thing? happy)

Anywho - I was wondering - are cashews as good as almonds as far as a good snack? I DO like almonds and eat them quite a bit, but I actually like cashews a lot better.

Anyone have any info on this??
January 10, 2009 1:36 PM
About the same calories in each, but cashews have 3 grams of saturated fat, while almonds only have 1 gram of saturated fat.

Does that take cashews completely off the menu - heck no, just a thought to keep in mind. Anything in moderation is fine.

January 10, 2009 1:38 PM
almonds are also packed with potassium which is great to replenish your muscles when you are drinking a lot of water or losing water weight too.
January 10, 2009 3:48 PM
I like Cashews! Almonds come second lol flowerforyou
January 10, 2009 7:22 PM
Did you know almonds have their own website-- who knew?

Okay, this is long, but I found it very interesting-- specifically where it talks about the calories absorbed by our body from almonds. They get my vote--

The prevalence of overweight and obesity in the United States is reaching epidemic proportions. According to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 1999, nearly 64 percent of all adult Americans are either overweight or obese. This prevalence has increased significantly and consistently since 1980.

Controlling body weight hinges on the number of calories consumed versus the calories burned through physical activity. Traditionally, foods that are rich sources of dietary fat are avoided when discussing weight maintenance or loss. However, high fat foods do not necessarily equate to weight gain. Nuts, for example, are often considered to contribute to weight gain even though they are recognized as being heart healthy. Almonds are a prime example of the mistaken belief that equates fat-rich foods with weight gain. They have been studied in the context of heart health, diabetes, protein quality and body weight and are a nutrient-dense food.

Epidemiologic studies show that those who eat the most nuts also tend to have the lowest body mass indexes (Nurses' Health Study, Adventists Health Study, Physicians' Follow-up Study). This finding has led to several studies about nuts and more specifically almonds and weight loss and maintenance. A recent study found that the cell walls of the almond act as a physical barrier to the absorption of fat in the intestines. The fat is then excreted from the body thereby failing to contribute calories (Ren et al., 2001). This has led some to question whether all of the calories in almonds as determined by the bomb calorimeter are actually absorbed by the human body. Furthermore, there is evidence that the addition of almonds to a diet in place of calories from other food sources does not cause an increase in body weight (Wien, in press).

These findings offer a glimpse into how almonds may actually work in the body to either prevent weight gain or aid in weight maintenance or loss.

Fat, protein and dietary fiber in the diet can have a satiating effect after a meal is consumed. By consuming three isoenergetic test meals one week apart that contained varying amounts of fat, subjects felt full when dietary fat was provided in a mixed-food meal (Burton-Freeman et al., 2002). Also, a recent study found that 40 grams of fat fed in the form of a muffin produced greater satiety than a fat-free snack (Alfenas and Mattes, 2003). In addition, adding 320 calories of almonds to a daily diet did not cause weight gain in a group of free-living individuals (Fraser et al., 2002). This suggests that almonds may play a satiating role in a mixed diet whether consumed in one sitting or over several eating occasions. Almonds, although calorie and fat dense, do not inherently equate to weight gain.

In fact, 100 grams or 520 calories of almonds were included in a hypocaloric diet. Preliminary results showed greater weight loss in the group that consumed the almond diet and anecdotally, increased satiety (Wien, in press).

Almonds are comprised of cell walls, which give them their structure. Cell walls may interfere with fat absorption by acting as a physical barrier to the release of fat droplets from the cell or by blocking lipase (Ren et al., 2001). What is not known is to what extent cell walls are broken down by processing, mastication, or during transit along the gut. Research has shown that the fat in almonds is contained in intracellular droplets that are released upon processing or chewing. Although most of the fat is released for digestion and absorption, intact cell walls may prevent a portion of the fat from being digested by lipase.

Thus far, researchers have found that almond cell walls can be detected in the stool of almond eaters suggesting that cell walls are not completely broken down during digestion. This may partially limit the dietary fat available for digestion or absorption. Research has demonstrated that almonds can be consumed while maintaining body weight (Kendall, 2003). In another study, when adults were fed an almond-rich diet, researchers observed intact cellular tissue (Ren et al., 2001). These findings suggest that some of the fat may not be absorbed. Studies on other nuts such as pecans (Haddad and Sabate, 2000) and peanuts (Levine and Silvis, 1980) had similar results. These findings may indicate that the calories in one ounce of almonds on the food label (160 calories) may not be the true caloric contribution of almonds. More research is needed to clarify this issue.

Almonds can be substituted for other foods in the diet that are not as satiating. This strategy may lead to consuming almonds to feel fuller faster and thereby consuming fewer calories. Also, almonds can displace less nutrient dense foods in the diet. Eating less nutrient dense foods requires more calories to achieve nutrient requirements. Just 164 calories of almonds supplies a wealth of nutrients far above many common snacks such as pretzels and chips. Finally, almonds can be used as a nutritious snack that maintains active metabolism and curbs appetite during mealtime. Overall, nutrient requirements can be met throughout the day while preventing bingeing on calorie dense foods at one meal.

Based on the currently available research, almonds can easily fit into various types of weight loss diet plans. Almonds can fit into plans ranging from Weight Watchers to NutriSystem to the traditional approach of the American Dietetic Association. As a snack or as an ingredient in a favorite dish, almonds offer key benefits to the person trying to lose weight, namely satiety, fewer calories for more nutrients, crunch and taste. A weight loss plan that delivers taste and nutrition may be easier to follow and to comply with.
January 10, 2009 7:55 PM
Roasting the plain unsalted ones brings out their flavor. Unroasted I find them kind of bland.

You can also make them spicy. This is from the website Marla posted. There are alot of recipes on there.

2 tsp. dried basil
1 ½ tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. dried cayenne pepper
1 tsp. paprika
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. finely ground black pepper
1 egg white
2 cups whole natural almonds
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In container of electric blender, combine all ingredients except egg white and almonds. Blend 30 seconds, pulsing on and off; set aside. In a large bowl whisk egg white until opaque and frothy. Add almonds; toss to coat. Add spice mixture; toss gently to coat evenly. Oil, or coat a baking sheet with vegetable cooking spray. Arrange almonds on baking sheet in single layer. Continue to bake 15 minutes longer; toss gently. Turn off oven. Leave almonds in oven with door ajar 15 minutes. Remove from oven; cool completely. Store in airtight container up to two weeks.
Per serving for 8 servings:

Calories 205, Cholesterol 0 mg, Fat 17 g, Fiber 5 g, Saturated 1.7 g, Calcium 98 mg,
Monounsaturated 11.6 g, Magnesium 106 mg, Polyunsaturated 3.8 g, Sodium 156 mg,
Carb 9 g, Potassium 276 mg, Protein 6 g, Vitamin E 1.9 mg*

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