Using Georgia Pecans in a Healthy Diet

Q: I love pecans as part of some of my favorite foods, such as a topping for sweet potatoes, sprinkled on casseroles and even, my all time favorite, pecan pie. How can I make these favorites part of my diet, while still controlling my weight?

A: First of all, there are plenty of ways to cut calories in recipes using pecans and still maintain that wonderful pecan flavor. Just take a look at the delicious recipes in the Commission's new Georgia Pecans Fit! Healthy Comfort Cooking brochure. As long as you take portions into consideration, they can all fit into a weight management plan. Second of all, there is growing evidence that people who regularly consume nuts, including pecans, actually may have a lower risk of weight gain and obesity compared to those who never eat nuts. The most recent study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, followed a group of more than 51,000 women for eight years and found that those who ate nuts at least twice a week, had significantly less average weight gain and incidence of obesity than those who rarely or never ate nuts. The researchers suggested that nuts should replace unhealthy snacks or desserts, while making sure that your total calorie intake is within a range that's healthy for you, whether you're trying to lose weight or simply maintain your current weight.

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