Tag Archives: vitamin E

Why eating nuts can aid weight control.

A few things you may not know about almonds

The nutrition basics:

  • Almonds have a proven heart health claim. This is due to being high in monounsaturated fat and their vitamin E content. They are the tree nut with the highest amount of vitamin E. Proven to lower total and LDL cholesterol.
  • 1 handful of almonds contain a similar amount of polyphenols to 1 cup of green tea. 
  • They are low in glycaemic index and when eaten together they can lower the impact on blood sugars of other carbohydrate foods. 
  • 1 serving (1 oz) contains 12 vitamins and minerals (including folic acid, niacin, magnesium, vitamin B6, zinc, copper and potassium) and 6 g protein. This protein helps provide a powerful satiating effect, so they keep you fuller for longer.
  • They are the nuts with the longest shelf life.
  • You need 2 types of almond trees present for pollination, as the bees need to carry pollen from 1 type of almond tree to another.

Heart Health:

2 large studies show the heart health benfits of nuts:

1. Nurses’ Health Study (over 86,000 nurses followed over 14 years)

2. the Adventist Health Study (followed over 27,000 men)

Dietitian UK: Why almonds are so good for you

In total these studies assessed the diets of over 110,000 men and women and after adjusting for other risk factors they linked the intake of five or more servings of nuts per week to a 35 – 50 percent reduction in risk of coronary heart disease incidence and death.

If nuts are high in fat, won’t eating them make me fat?

It sounds like common sense doesn’t it. However the evidence begs to differ. Nut eaters tend to come out at a lower body weight than non-nut eaters. Here is one example for you:

A 24 week weight loss interventional study on obese women compared:

Group A who ate 84g of almonds per day, equivalent to 3 portions of almonds per day. 

A low calorie diet 

39% total fat, 25% MUFA and 32% carbohydrate

Group B on a low calorie, complex carbohydrate diet. 

(18% total fat, 5% MUFA and 53% carbohydrate)

Both diets were equivalent calories and protein. The results showed a 62% greater reduction in weight/BMI, 50% greater reduction in waist circumference and 56% greater reduction in Fat mass in the almond-group.

Int J Obesity Related Metabolic Disease (2003): 27: 1365.

The Reasoning:

Firstly….You don’t absorb all the calories from nuts. That fact blew me away the first time I heard it and understood it. In fact I know now that we absorb different amounts calories from different nuts. The research is ongoing on this and some of it so new it is yet to be published. for the same nuts there is then a difference in the amount of energy we absorb for different nut products – whole, chopped, nut butters.

Secondly…. the calorie content of foods is not that accurate. It is calculated using conversion factors rather than being measured.  Digestibility is not taken into account. If we measured the urinary and fecal energy after eating almonds we would get a more accurate figure, but just getting someone to eat only almonds so we can so this is an extreme task. Some new research has looked at another way of doing this using a base diet with and without almonds. This highlighted that there is a definite difference between the food label calorie content and the measured calorie content of nuts.

The real calorie content of nuts is 5-21% lower than the labels tell us. It varies depending on the type of nut and the processing of the nut. 

Take Home Message:

Nuts are good, no, GREAT for you when eaten in sensible portion sizes. Obviously overeating them can lead to excess calorie intake and weight gain. However,  when eaten daily, in portion controlled amounts, they can help with weight control, satiety and provide a good heart health benefit too.

I personally love the portion tins you can get. 


A portion is described as: 1 oz, 2 tbsp, a small handful, 30g.

In actual numbers of nuts this is:

23 almonds, 18 cashews, 12 hazelnuts, 8 brazil nuts ,35 peanuts, 15 pecan halves or 14 walnut halves.

Dietitian UK: Nuts portion guide



Disclaimer: I recently attended a Round Table event for the Almond B0ard of California. Some of the information in this post has come from that day. This post was not paid for, nor was I asked to write it, it just interests me!

Avocado toast topper

I’m always looking for fresh ideas for lunches that are tasty and healthy but also quick. This idea is inspired by my mum who in the days we had a family hotel used to make a starter with warm avocado in lovely white shell dishes. It was delicious and I now have the dishes as a little bonus 🙂

Avocados are highly nutritous and a great source of monounsaturated fats (heart healthy), potassium, fibre and carotenoids. Although high in calories these are all good calories.

So here is our new favourite way to eat them…

 Dietitian UK: Avocado Toast Topper

Avocado Toast Topper
Serves 2
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
3 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
3 min
387 calories
39 g
20 g
22 g
12 g
6 g
238 g
411 g
5 g
0 g
15 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Amount Per Serving
Calories 387
Calories from Fat 189
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 22g
Saturated Fat 6g
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 3g
Monounsaturated Fat 12g
Cholesterol 20mg
Sodium 411mg
Total Carbohydrates 39g
Dietary Fiber 9g
Sugars 5g
Protein 12g
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
  1. 1 medium avocado
  2. 1 medium tomato
  3. 4 slices bread
  4. 40g brie
  1. Cut the avocado in half lengthways, twist to open, remove the stone and scoop out the flesh into a bowl. Mash this with a fork.
  2. Spread the avocado onto the bread, top with sliced tomato and brie.
  3. Place under a medium hot grill for a few minutes until the brie is melted.
  4. Enjoy!
Dietitian UK https://www.dietitianuk.co.uk/

Sunflower, pecan and cardamon muffins, heart healthy, gluten free and yummy.

This is an adapted recipe from Green Kitchen Stories, it looked so yummy I had to try it. Plus they are Gluten Free and Wheat Free.

Sunflower seeds are a good source of Vitamin E, Magnesium and Selenium as well as having phytosterols that can help lower cholesterol. Vitamin E is an antioxidant so it stops the effects of free radicals and can protect against disease like cancer; it is also an anti-inflammatory, helping in diseases like rheumatoid arthritis and asthma. Magnesium is an all round important nutrient being used in a number of body systems, it keeps the nerves relaxed so they can send signals properly, aids in energy production and can help lower blood pressure. Selenium is also an antioxidant that plays a role in repairing damaged DNA and preventing cancer cell growth.

Dietitian UK:  Sunflower seeds
Dietitian UK: Sunflower seeds

Pecans are also a great source of Vitamin E and have been linked to protecting against Alzheimers, cancer and heart disease. The plant sterols in the nuts can help lower cholesterol and they contain the heart healthy mono-unsaturated fat.

So basically these are a good source of Vitamin E, they contain heart healthy mono-unsaturated fat and contain cholesterol lowering products. Wow! Health in a muffin 😉


90g sunflower seeds toasted in the oven for 8 minutes.

60g pecans

1 tsp baking powder

50g margarine

2 tbsp honey

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

2 tsp ground cardamon

4 egg whites

  • Grind the nuts and seeds in a pestle and mortar, I did mine in 3 batches.
  • Add the baking powder.
  • Melt the margarine and honey (I used the microwave) and then add the vanilla extract and cardamon, leave to cool.
  • Whisk the egg whites for about a minute until foamy (not stiff).
  • Mix the dried ingredients and wet mix together. Gently fold in the egg whites.
  • Dollop into 12 muffin cases (fill until near the top) and bake at Gas Mark 3 for 15-20 minutes, they will firm up a little more when cool.
Dietitian UK: Sunflower, Pecan and Cardamon muffins
Dietitian UK: Sunflower, Pecan and Cardamon muffins

Nutritional Info: Per muffin 119 kcals, 8.8g fat (1.1g saturates 3.8 monounsaturates, 3.4 polyunsaturates), 7.0g carbohydrate, 3.3g protein.