I am sitting in my parents’ dining room as I write this. Today is my Dad’s birthday and Sunday will be Father’s day. My Dad is at the kitchen table with a whole pile of nuts that he is eating because they are good for either his cholesterol, blood glucose or his brain. When did we start shopping at the grocery store as if it were a pharmacy? What happened to ” I haven’t had nuts for a while and they would be a nice snack for a change”?
I don’t like to admit it, but I always learn something from him when I come here. This week it is “omega 7 fatty acids”. Found in macadamia nut oil and fish oil, it is being touted as an important tool in overall heart health.
Omega 7 fatty acids are a class of unsaturated fats and apparently the most common in nature are palmitoleic and vaccenic acids. The “7” notation refers to the site of the double bond as being located at the 7th carbon from the end of the carbon chain. For example: CH3-(CH2)5-CH=CH-(CH2)n-CO2H.
According to a Mayo Clinic article (http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/nuts/HB00085) almost all nuts can be a healthy addition to a heart-conscious diet. They can be a good source of unsaturated fats, Vitamin E, fiber, plant sterols and omega 3’s. While each nut has a specific health benefit profile they are also high in calories because of the fat content. The table below gives a snapshot of the calorie content of various nuts per one ounce serving.
|Type of nut||Calories||Total fat
|Almonds, raw||163||14 g (1.1 g/12.2 g)|
|Almonds, dry roasted||169||15 g (1.1 g/12.9 g)|
|Brazil nuts, raw||186||19 g (4.3 g/12.8 g)|
|Cashews, dry roasted||163||13.1 g (2.6 g/10 g)|
|Chestnuts, roasted||69||0.6 g (0.1 g/0.5 g)|
|Hazelnuts (filberts), raw||178||17 g (1.3 g/15.2 g)|
|Hazelnuts (filberts), dry roasted||183||17.7 g (1.3 g/15.6 g)|
|Macadamia nuts, raw||204||21.5 g (3.4 g/17.1 g)|
|Macadamia nuts, dry roasted||204||21.6 g (3.4 g/17.2 g)|
|Peanuts, dry roasted||166||14 g (2g/11.4 g)|
|Pecans, dry roasted||201||21 g (1.8 g/18.3 g)|
|Pistachios, dry roasted||161||12.7 g (1.6 g/10.5 g)|
|Walnuts, halved||185||18.5 g (1.7 g/15.9 g)|
*The saturated and unsaturated fat contents in each nut may not add up to the total fat content because the fat value may also include some non-fatty acid material, such as sugars or phosphates.
But back to the Omega 7: I haven’t had time to really research it so I don’t have an opinion one way or the other, yet. But according to the article that my father showed me, Cleveland Clinic‘s Dr. Michael Roizen will be involved in human clinical trials. I have great respect for Dr. Roizen so I will remain open-minded this time.
Happy Birthday, Dad!