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Keeping a bag of nuts on hand is a great way to satisfy a pang of hunger while making healthy choices. They’re easy to pack up and bring along with you. However, one of the reasons they’re a healthy choice also contributes to their ability to go bad when exposed to the elements.
Nuts can go bad in a hot car because they contain unsaturated fats, which are sensitive to their environment. When exposed to too much heat, these fats can go bad and give the nuts a foul taste. Storing nuts correctly is important to make sure your heart-healthy snack stays fresh and fine to eat.
In the rest of this article, let’s take a look at how to store nuts correctly to avoid letting them go bad and what it is about nuts that make them an ideal snack that’s good for your overall health and wellness.
Proper Nut Storage
Nuts can be the ideal travel companion. They’re a no-mess food that’s easy to carry and packs a healthy punch. Due to their high unsaturated fat content, just a few nuts can satisfy your hunger while delivering you the healthy kind of oil you need in your diet. However, don’t let their portability fool you; nuts can still go bad when exposed to the elements for too long.
Like many foods, exposure to the natural environment can make nuts go bad. Heat, air, and light can all impact the taste and quality of your favorite nut snack. This is particularly true when it comes to leaving nuts in a hot car.
The temperature can become quite extreme in a car that’s completely sealed and parked in the sun. It’ll become significantly hotter than regular pantry storage, putting your nuts at risk for spoiling.
Using an airtight container in a cool, dry place away from sunlight is ideal for storing nuts. The container protects them from going stale from overexposure to oxygen. Keeping them in a cupboard or other place will protect them from sunlight.
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Once you have the right container, don’t forget about the ideal storage temperature. Even when sealed properly, nuts will still be sensitive to the temperature of their environment.
The temperature is important due to the high levels of unsaturated fat contained in the nuts. This kind of fat can become spoiled when exposed to heat. Once this has occurred, your nuts will taste foul and cannot be returned to their original state of freshness.
When stored correctly in an airtight, cool, dry place away from sunlight, you can expect your nuts to last for about three months before starting to taste stale or a bit spoiled. If you’re able to place them sealed in the refrigerator, you can expect them to last up to six months.
Other Storage Tips
There are a few other things you can keep in mind when it comes to keeping your nuts fresh and ready to snack on. When purchasing your nuts, consider buying whole nuts instead of ones that have already been chopped.
Pre-chopped nuts will have more exposure to oxygen, making it possible for them to go stale more quickly. If you purchase whole nuts, they may also have their own exterior protective skin or shell that’ll keep them fresher longer.
When you purchase nuts that have already been removed from their shell or chopped into smaller pieces, they’ll age more quickly and lose their ideal taste.
If you want to take nuts on the go with you, try to pack them as needed. Keep the nuts properly stored at home in your kitchen and pack a small travel container each day. This will keep the bulk of your stash fresh for as long as possible and still allow you to enjoy a snack on the go.
Nuts as a Heart Healthy Snack
Many people may think of nuts as “fatty” and wonder how such a high-calorie food could be considered a heart-healthy snack. It’s the kind of fats that nuts generally contain that make them a great option for snacking on the go.
Nuts are high in unsaturated fats as opposed to saturated foods. While still needing to be consumed in moderation, unsaturated fats are considered to be the healthy fats that the body needs to function properly.
These kinds of fats are thought to have a positive impact on cholesterol. When it comes to cholesterol, nuts are thought to bring down your low-density lipoprotein levels. These are considered to be the bad or dangerous cholesterol levels that can lead to serious health implications.
Eating nuts has also been linked to decreasing your risk for heart disease and contributing to healthy arteries in the body. Many kinds of nuts are known to contain Omega-3 fatty acids, which are also great for general heart health.
That being said, remember that nuts should be consumed in moderation. They’re still a high fat, high-calorie food, and a small serving can leave you feeling satisfied while giving your body some fats and nutrients it needs. Eat nuts slowly and enjoy the texture and flavor and stop snacking when you’re finished your portion or begin to feel full.
Nuts are the ideal travel companion because they’re a no-mess healthy option when it comes to snacking on the go. However, it’s important to keep in mind that nuts will go bad when not stored properly.
If you want to have a stash of nuts with you on the go, it’s important to back a small amount each day and leave your main supply in a cool, dry, airtight container out of direct sunlight and intense heat.
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