Today we talk with Allison Smith about Pigs 101, Dr. Mike Fenster about food as therapy for chronic disease, we talk with Stephanie Toups about home water filtration systems, and we talk with Shawn Wells about the benefits of nuts.
Shawn Wells tell us about how beneficial nuts can be, here is all the information you will need:
We have heard nuts are healthy, some say they are not because they are often high fat…but are they healthy? Are they all the same? Which ones are better than others? Shawn will help us figure that out!
- Shawn, Are nuts “good” for you or “bad”?
Great question! Some people see that nuts are calorically dense and high in fat and have concerns about them be unhealthy. Maybe when nuts are highly processed with heat, covered in soybean oil and coated in salt (I’m not anti-salt as you know), etc. its approaching that bliss point. Some nuts go further to the bliss point of oily, salty, sweet, crunchy with honey or sugar coating on the nuts. Raw nuts I see no problem with. With raw nuts you will not override the satiety signals (fullness/appetite). You eat a handful, you will naturally feel full. High fat is a good thing for fullness and being energy dense. Often, they are also high in nutrients, fiber and protein too. So, I am all in favor of nuts and consider them healthy until we transform them and make them healthy. I talk until I am blue in the face about foods being processed and becoming more addictive and less unhealthy.
- So, which nuts are the healthier nuts?
Well it depends on your definition of healthy and what you’re trying to achieve. Being a ketogenic dieter, meaning I want very low carb and very high fat, I eat Walnuts, Macadamia Nuts, and Pili Nuts (those are gaining popularity and are delicious – look them up online). If you’re a low carb person that wants high protein them almonds are your best choice. If you are a higher carb, but whole food or vegan or paleo fan than cashews, peanuts (which are legumes and not nuts) could be your choice.
- Lectins, aflatoxins…any of this a concern with nuts.
That is a great, great question. Lectins are a type of protein that can bind to cell membranes. They are sugar-binding and become the “glyco” portion of glycoconjugates on the membranes. Lectins offer a way for molecules to stick together without getting the immune system involved, which can influence cell-cell interaction. Some people have lectin sensitivity and issues with leaky gut. So, a lectin avoidance diet is warranted if that is the case. Lectins, like phytic acid, can be thought of as an anti-nutrient as they reduce the body’s ability to absorb other valuable nutrients. Lectins are highest in Kidney beans, Peanuts, Tomatoes, Potatoes, Wheat, and Soybeans. Nightshade vegetables are the highest concern.
Aflatoxin is the name for a group of toxins (carcinogenic compounds) that are produced by two fungi called Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus parasiticus. These toxins occur naturally and have been found in a wide range of commodities (including peanuts and corn) used for animal and human consumption. So yes, it may be advisable to avoid heavy consumption of peanuts…but here again…its technically not a nut.
- What about cooking oils?
YES!!! I love macadamia and walnut oils to cook with. They are very healthy with their profile and anti-inflammatory. Whereas peanut oil and soybean are not. Macadamia and walnut have a higher smoke point too. I recommend not cooking with olive oil, though I love adding it to foods and its healthy, due to its lower smoke point.
- Any fun facts?
Brazil nuts have nearly a full day’s selenium in each nut! They are power packed!!
Allison lines out specific questions you should ask yourself if thinking about purchasing a mini pig:
1. What is a mini pig?
- Mini pigs go by many names now a day: Mini, Micro, Teacup, Nano, Micro Mini, Nanno Dandie. These can be deceitful and misleading to the uneducated buyer.
- “Mini” is a classification of pigs and not an actual breed. The term is used to distinguish common household pigs from market/farm pigs.
- Mini pigs originated for scientific purposes through selective breeding. There is no breed standard for mini pigs but they can be classified based on traits like height, length, and weight.
- Is a mini pig right for me?
- A new job, relocation, children, and time away from home are four key things to take into consideration.
- Much like a 3 year old child, mini pigs require a great amount of your time and attention. Especially as babies and juveniles.
- Pigs are smart and need a lot of enrichment or they can become destructive or aggressive due to boredom.
- Again, much like children, they also need structure. Pigs need a leader of the heard to enforce order.
- Are you legally able to have a pig?
- Does your city ordinance allow pigs as pets?
- If so, what are their requirements? (Spay/neuter, vaccinations, size limit)
- Does your city ordinance allow pigs as pets?
- Educate yourself and think about the long term commitment.
- Pigs live 15-20 years.
- There is not a market for older unwanted pigs.
- The majority of rehome requests that I receive are pertaining to “inconvenient pigs”.
- Where can I find out more?
- American Mini Pig Association: http://americanminipigassociation.com
- Mini Pig Info: http://www.minipiginfo.com/