Why Almonds Are Good for You Despite What John Mayer Says
For some reason singer, John Mayer has a beef with almonds. He has even tweeted about them but not in a good way. On Twitter, John Mayer said "Almonds are not your best friend. They get most of their calories (about 65 percent) from fat. Why not substitute with small strips of lint?"
When I read what he said I felt the need to defend my friend, the almond.
Blanched - Almonds with their skins removed
Dry Roasted - baked in an oven. To roast almonds bake at 160-170 degrees F. for 15-20 minutes
Raw - almonds in their purest form, unpasteurized
Roasted - cooked in oil
Sliced - Almonds that have been sliced across their diameter, bigger than slivered
Slivered - Almonds that have been sliced very thinly
Green almonds - Unripe almonds, picked before the shell has a chance to harden, and before the almond has had a chance to become crisp and mature. Can only be found 3-4 weeks out of the year.
The Goodness of Almonds
One almond has 7 calories (14 grams of fat.) One cup of almonds has 546 calories, of which 72 percent of those calories are from fat. John was close in saying 65 percent of the calories are from fat. What he may not realize is that when you break down the fat in almonds it looks like this:
- Saturated Fat - 3.5g
- Trans Fat - 0.0g
- Polyunsaturated Fat - 11.5g
- Monounsaturated Fat - 29.3g
I can see how John would say almonds have a lot of fat, but if you look at the breakdown - most of the fats are polyunsaturated and monounsaturated, which are good, heart healthy fats.
I doubt John Mayer will ever read this Hub, but just in case he does I hope after reading about the health benefits of almonds, he can set the record straight.
- Besides containing an abundance of heart healthy fats, almonds are one of the greatest sources of vitamin E and magnesium, two essential nutrients lacking in the American diet. They are also a source of dietary fiber and calcium.
- Almonds contain flavonoids, which are found in the skin of almonds. It is believed that these compounds give almonds antioxidant properties, protecting the body’s cells from damage.
- Almonds are known to protect against diabetes and cardiovascular disease by reducing spikes in blood sugar levels after meals.
- Eating almonds, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, can reduce the risk of heart disease.
- Almonds are a good snack to choose if you are trying to lose weight as eating almonds may help to stave off hunger.
You only need to eat a handful of almonds per day (about 23 almonds) to fulfill the recommended daily intake of almonds. I think most would agree that eating a handful of almonds a day tastes much better than eating small strips of lint.
Since John is obviously ignorant about the health benefits of almonds, I’ll bet he doesn't know about the many almond products available that are also good for you.
Almond oil has a nutty taste and can be substituted for olive oil. Consuming almond oil is beneficial for the digestive system and it can improve the movement of food through the colon. Regular consumption of almond oil helps reduce cholesterol and nourish the brain and nervous system. It has also been proven that almond oil is good for the immune system, helping to fight against diseases.
Not only are there many health benefits to consuming almond oil, it can also be used to nourish and moisturize the skin and also nourish your hair and help prevent hair from falling out. When used for aromatherapy it has calming and cleansing effects. Almond oil can also be used to help relieve strained muscles.
Almond flour or almond meal is ground, blanched almonds. It is available in specialty food stores and in some supermarkets. You can also make almond flour in a food processor by processing blanched whole or slivered almonds in small batches just until finely ground.
Natural almonds which contain more fiber, can be used instead of blanched. Almond flour may be used to add flavor, nutrition and thickening to soups, sauces, stews and dressings. It may also be used as a partial substitute (up to half) in recipes for baked goods that call for all-purpose flour.
Almond milk is not actually milk, it is a milky substance made from almonds. Almond milk can be substituted for those who do not like or cannot drink cow's milk. Almond milk does not contain lactose and has many of the same health benefits as eating almonds. It is rich in vitamin E, contains little to none saturated fats and is cholesterol free. Eight oz. of almond milk contains 70 calories. Almond milk can be found at any grocery store. If you want to make your own almond milk, all you need is almonds, water, a sweetener such as honey or maple syrup and a blender.
Almond butter is a variation of peanut butter, made with almonds instead of peanuts. Almond butter keeps all the nutrients found in almonds. It is high in protein, fiber and essential fatty acids. Almond butter can be used just like peanut butter, as a spread, or mixed into sauces and dressings. The flavor is similar to peanut butter, with a faint hint of almonds. There are two types of almond butter - raw and toasted.
There are also different variations of almond butter. Smooth and creamy almond butter is made from almonds in which the skin has been removed (blanched.) With the chunkier almond butter, the skins are not removed and the almonds are not as finely ground. Almond butter is usually more expensive than regular peanut butter or other nut butters. If you eat a lot of almond butter, it might be cost effective for you to make your own. Also, there are many delicious recipes using almond butter you can make at home.