Go Nuts for Nuts!
It’s 3pm and you’ve just come home from school. Dinner isn’t for a couple of hours, but your stomach is already grumbling. With PCOS, you know it’s important to limit foods such as chips, cookies, and candy to avoid a spike in your insulin levels… So, what’s a girl to do?
- Grab a handful of roasted almonds
- Sprinkle chopped walnuts on some plain yogurt and berries
- Spread some almond butter on a few whole grain crackers or celery sticks
With portion size in mind, working nuts into your diet has many benefits. Nuts are high in fiber, a good source of protein, and a source of healthy fats. When combined with a high-fiber carbohydrate food (such as popcorn or whole-grain crackers), nuts can help to reduce the rise in insulin levels compared to when you eat the carbohydrate food on its own. Adding nuts to a snack, or simply having them alone, can help you feel full or satisfied — perfect to tide you over just until dinnertime — and can also be helpful in maintaining a healthy weight.
However, given their tastiness and crunch factor, nuts can be easy to overeat! As with many foods — even healthy ones — the key is portion control. If you’re eating whole nuts, aim for just a small handful (for example: about 20-24 almonds); if you’re having peanut butter or any other nut butter (such as almond butter or cashew butter) about 2 tablespoons is a nice amount.
Don’t hesitate to be creative! You can have almonds, pecans, walnuts, pistachios, peanuts, etc. You might portion them into a Ziploc bag for a lightweight, go-to backpack snack. Or try toasting nuts (see the recipe below) and sprinkling them on your cereal, yogurt, or salad. Go nuts for nuts!
- Option 1: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Spread nuts (that have been taken out of the shells), on a single layer on a baking pan or toaster oven tray. Cook for 7-10 minutes, giving the pan a shake halfway through, until nuts turn golden.
- Option 2: Place a single layer of nuts in a skillet. Over medium-high heat, stir the nuts with a wooden spoon for 5-7 minutes, or until they begin to turn golden.
- For either option: Sprinkle toasted nuts with a pinch of cinnamon or salt, and enjoy!