Oils and Fats

LEGUMES, NUTS, SEEDS

 

Categories of Heart Mark Products

GRAIN PRODUCTS

FRUITS AND VEGETABLES

MEATS AND ALTENATIVES

LEGUMES, NUTS AND SEEDS

VEGETARIAN PRODUCTS

MILK AND DAIRY PRODUCTS

FATS, OILS and RELATED PRODUCTS

 

 

Nuts and seeds provide healthy mono- and polyunsaturated plant oils as well as protein. Legumes, which include beans, are filling and also contain lean protein. All of these foods are packed with vitamins and minerals. Eating more nuts, seeds, and legumes "is a good way to encourage a more plant-based diet that satisfies people in a healthy way".
It's hard to sort out the differences between nuts, seeds, and legumes. They have particular botanical definitions, but most people tend not to observe those in everyday language. Some nuts, like hazelnuts, walnuts, and almonds, are true tree nuts, composed of a seed surrounded by dry fruit and encased in a hard shell. The ubiquitous peanut is actually a legume. Legumes are the edible seeds from pods you can split in half. Widely consumed legumes include the splendid spectrum of beans: black, soybean, navy, lima, chickpea (garbanzo), red, great northern, pinto, fava, and kidney. Legumes also include peas and lentils.


Portioning is key
Regardless of what you choose to call a nut, seed, or legume, for healthy meals, portioning is a key consideration.
Nuts and seeds are rich in vegetable oils, which pack nine calories per gram. That means if you eat too many nuts and seeds in one meal, you will get an overload of calories. An ounce of nuts, for example—just a handful—contains 160 to 190 calories and 3 to 7 grams of protein.


Legumes generally pack more carbohydrates than nuts and seeds, but a roughly similar amount of protein per serving. A half-cup serving of cooked beans contains 115 to 125 calories and 7 to 9 grams of protein.
But it doesn't pay to obsess over exact portions. A loose handful of nuts can be a healthy "dose" on your morning cereal, yogurt, or oatmeal, as is a heaping tablespoon of sunflower or chia seeds. A handful of cooked beans on a salad is also a healthy meal-enhancer.


Add gradually
McManus emphasizes that nuts, seeds, and legumes should be added gradually to your daily diet. Evolution, rather than revolution, is the best way to adopt a more plant-based dietary pattern. Incorporate nuts, seeds, and legumes into foods you already enjoy and know how to cook. To get the full benefit of a plant-based diet, substitute plant-based proteins for some of your usual intake of red and processed meat.
"Pick one or two days a week to use more plant-based proteins instead of traditional red meat," McManus says. Trying to change too many things too quickly may fail.