Organic Cashews are a Good Source of Healthy Fat

 

Organic Cashews are a Good Source of Healthy Fat

Fat…though it has three letters, it is often ranked as one of the top “four letter words” of the dietary world. This is a bit unusual when you stop to consider that fat is a “macronutrient” or something that our body needs a large amount of in order to function properly.

You  may not realize it, but your body uses fat to form hormones, as a source of energy, as a way to store energy, for the fatty acids needed for cellular health, for brain function, and for the maintenance of skin and cells. So, you do need fat – and a lot of it. That is why it is a “macro” nutrient considered to be an essential part of healthy eating.

However, it all boils down to the kinds of fats we eat that determines whether or not fat is a good word or a bad one.

Understanding Fat

When we talk about dietary fat, we can mean saturated, monounsaturated, or polyunsaturated fats (let’s not even consider trans fats as they are just to be avoided outright). These are the types that appear in our food, and while some of them are horrible, some are an essential part of healthy eating.

Take organic nuts such as cashews as a prime example. As soon as you tell people you want to grab a handful of them as a snack, most will try to warn you off and suggest other, more “healthy foods”. They might do this because they believe cashews to have a lot of fat. However, your decision was the right one. This is because the fat in cashews is considered to be one of the healthiest.

In fact, dietary experts often call cashews the low fat nut because they have one of the overall lowest fat counts of many common snacking nuts – such as almonds and walnuts.

Here’s what we mean: Cashews “have a relatively high fat content…but it is considered ‘good fat’. This is due to the agreeable fat ratio in the nut…which scientists say is the ideal ratio for optimal health.” (Meyers)

We cannot overlook the fact that they are packed with the best fatty acids, meaning that they provide the body with the materials needed to cut the risks of heart disease. They also have zero cholesterol, further enhancing their disease fighting benefits.

So, in terms of healthy eating  and dietary fat – cashews are an all-around super food. Of course, you have to give a lot of attention to your source for cashews if you want them to remain on the list of optimally healthy foods.

The Source Matters

When you pick up that can of cashews on the grocery shelf, you should know a few major points about them:

  • It is unlikely that they came from one country and more likely to have come from three or four factory farms on different continents;
  • They probably have been coated in additional oil before roasting and then doused in salt to “enhance” flavor;
  • Roasting was probably done at a high heat that burned fossil fuels and which reduced the taste and nutrient qualities of the nuts; and
  • They were probably not “sized” and are sold instead by weight rather than quality.

What these points reveal is the simple fact that you may be reducing the overall nutritional value of your diet by opting to eat lower quality cashews. If you want them to be among the healthy foods to eat, you have to consider the source and how the nuts have been grown and handled by the distributor.

Why it Matters

We just learned that purchasing cashews from grocery store shelves may mean getting some of the lowest quality nuts available. They might be high in fat because of the way they were roasted, and their nutrient values may be decreased by the many things done since the nuts were harvested.

Additionally, when cashews are factory grown, they can be exposed to everything from pesticides to the introduction of GMO materials. This too can negatively impact their nutritional value and health benefits.

The answer to all of this is simple – find a source of organic cashews that purchases directly from non-factory farms. Find a source that does not alter the nuts by adding ingredients. A good choice is our Caju cashews. At our company we work directly with Vietnamese farmers who tend small farms and who maintain their crops to the utmost quality.

We then sort and roast the nuts in small batches. Relying on wood fired ovens, we use only a small amount of natural sea salt to enhance the sweet and delicious flavors of every batch.

When you are in need of a healthy source of dietary fats, turn to organic nuts. Look for companies offering products such as the cashews we provide here at Caju. We strive to preserve the flavor and the nutrients of the nuts and allow you to enjoy access to health foods to eat every day.

Works Cited

Meyers, Ruth. What are the health benefits of Cashews? Organic Cashew Nuts. 2013.