Now before anyone gets in a tiff, let me say that I think salted nuts are a fairly healthy food. After my first few FRF posts, I received several requests from people asking me to write about foods that aren't so extreme-- foods that many of us have on hand, may even consider to be healthy, but are nevertheless palatable and rewarding enough that they lead to overeating sometimes. It's easy to laugh at monstrous pizzas with fried shrimp and mayo on them, but perhaps it's not as enlightening as turning the spotlight on our own kitchens.
Salted nuts are one of those healthy foods that people often tell me they overeat. Here's what WHS reader Tuck had to say recently:
My suggestion [for FRF]: Salted pistachios.Personally, I'll eat salted nuts when I'm out, but I don't keep them around the house. I eat a lot of unsalted roasted almonds, and I'll eat them exactly to the point where my appetite is gone, at which point I have no desire to eat any more. If they're salted or flavored, I'll keep eating them past satiety, and with nuts it's easy to consume a lot of extra calories this way. Salt is one of the key additives that food manufacturers use to mask off flavors and increase food palatability and reward-- but you don't have to be Frito-Lay to take advantage of this phenomenon.
I can eat a bag of these things with no problem. For me they're worse than potato chips. My wife recently got a bag of unsalted pistachios by mistake. They're barely, well, palatable. I eat a few and I've got no interest in any more.
For me these are now on a list of indulgences with ice cream and vegetable-oil fried French fries.
Nuts are healthy... as long as you don't overeat them.