Diwali and dry fruits go hand in hand! If we asked you to name one common item that was gifted during Diwali, included in a package of sweets, or served as snacks to guests, what would it be? Well, dry fruits! Diwali is that time of year when your home is flooded with dry fruits and sweets. This is also partly why we end up eating more of them during this time of year. However, you should be aware of a number of negative side effects of excessive intake of dry fruits.
Health Encounters reached out to Roopshree Jaiswal, Consultant – Dietitian / Dietitian, Maternity Hospitals, Mechanic Nagar, Indore, to find out what could happen if she ate too many nuts.
“We all know nuts are very healthy and are a favorite snack for many people especially during the winter season,” Jaiswal says. “In fact, dry fruits are linked to good heart health and even Weight loss. But this does not mean that you can overdo it without any consequences. While eating a handful of dry fruits once in a while won’t do you much harm, doing so over and over again has some potential concerns.”
Here are 5 reasons why you should consume nuts at a certain limit:
1. Gastrointestinal diseases
Nuts like almonds, walnuts, cashews, hazelnuts and pistachios are known for their beneficial fat and protein content. However, feeling bloated or gassy are some of the common symptoms that accompany excessive eating of nuts. “It happens because many nuts contain compounds like phytates and tannins, which are difficult to digest. Nuts can also lead to diarrhea due to the fats they contain,” Jaiswal says.
2. Weight gain
Nuts are an excellent snack option when you are trying to lose weight as they help you avoid overeating due to their fiber and protein content. Both are necessary for weight loss. But you must remember that these snacks are still high in calories and excessive consumption can lead to weight gain.
3. High in sugar
Nuts like raisins contain sugar and calories. Eating them in large quantities can increase the risk of unbalanced sugar levels and heart disease. Therefore, it is really important that you eat dry fruits in moderation during the festive season.
4. Food toxicity
Certain types of nuts should be eaten in moderation because excessive consumption can lead to food poisoning. These nuts include Brazil nuts, nutmeg, and almonds. Chewing on Brazil nuts can lead to an overdose of selenium, while almonds contain hydrocyanic acid that can cause respiratory problems and choking.
5. Allergic reaction
Many people are allergic to nuts. It is advised to be careful while trying nuts for the first time as this allergy can manifest differently in different people. If you develop gas, bloating, or nausea, you may be allergic or intolerant to nuts and should discuss your symptoms with your doctor.
We understand that nuts are always right in front of your eyes here and there during festivals and therefore reducing their consumption can be very difficult, but remember that nuts are beneficial when consumed within certain limits and overeating can have consequences.
Jaiswal suggests, “To avoid overeating nuts, you need to exercise restraint in your food cravings by eating something else while you’re craving nuts.” You can also start by not keeping the box in an accessible place!
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