Go Nuts: Walnuts For Healthy Sperm, Almonds For A Svelte Bod


In the grapefruit diet-era I grew up in, peanuts, almonds and luscious cashews were evil, calorie-laden, fat delivery systems. And walnuts? They sat in a beautiful cut-glass bowl on my grandmother’s table, cracker at the ready, but never touched. Well, now I can safely say the Era Of The Nut has finally arrived.

Today, the BBC reports that walnuts are fabulous for sperm. Just two handfuls a day may keep the fertility doc at bay, says the cheeky article:.

Eating around two handfuls of walnuts a day improves sperm health in young men, a study in the journal Biology of Reproduction suggests.

Sperm shape, movement and vitality improved in men who added walnuts to their diet over 12 weeks.

The fatty acids found in these nuts are thought to have helped sperm development. It is not known if this would help improve male fertility.

About one in six couples are infertile, with 40% of these due to a male factor.

Dr Allan Pacey, senior lecturer in andrology at the University of Sheffield said: “It would be relatively easy to poke fun at studies like this, but there is increasing evidence to show that aspects of a man’s diet can affect the number and quality of sperm produced by his testicles.”

And last week it was disclosed that almonds — which I now eat joyously almost every day — have 20 percent fewer calories than previously thought. Continue reading

Video: Why Should Movie Theaters Be Exempt From Calorie Labeling?

There are approximately 1,200 calories in medium-size popcorn at Regal Cinemas, according to the nonprofit Center for Science in the Public Interest. And that’s without the added butter.

Twelve-hundred calories is about what I eat in an entire day. So why, asks this video posted by CSPI, should movie theaters in most states remain exempt from new rules requiring that food sold to the public include calorie counts? The group asks that viewers write to President Obama and “urge him to strengthen the final menu labeling regulations to include movie theaters.” (You’d think Michelle Obama would be interested in this issue too, with her telling kids “Let’s Move” and all.)

Movie Popcorn Calorie Counts: They Won’t Tell You So We Will

It’s bad enough that cinemas ban outside food and then offer an array of high-fat, high-sugar, high-salt snacks. Now they won’t even ‘fess up to their nutritional sins. I got steamed this weekend when I read in The New York Times that movie theaters may be exempt from upcoming rules requiring chains that offer food to post their calorie counts. The Times reports:

The federal government on Friday released proposed rules requiring chain restaurants and other businesses that serve food to post calorie counts on menus and menu boards. But after objections from theater chains, the rules give a pass to those box-office snacks — even though a large popcorn and soda can contain as many calories as a typical person needs in a day.
The Food and Drug Administration said it would accept consumer and industry feedback on the rules before finishing them, hopefully by the end of this year. They are expected to go into effect some time next year, said Michael R. Taylor, deputy commissioner for foods at the F.D.A.

I turned to that useful source of nutritional truth, the Center for Science in the Public Interest. It tested tubs of movie popcorn in 2009, and published the horrifying results here. To put them in perspective:

It’s hard to picture someone mindlessly ingesting three McDonald’s Quarter Pounders with 12 pats of butter while watching a movie. But according to new laboratory analyses commissioned by the nonprofit Center for Science in the Public Interest, that food is nutritionally comparable to what you’d find in a medium popcorn and soda combo at Regal, the country’s biggest movie theater chain: 1,610 calories and three days’ worth—60 grams—of saturated fat. (Nutrition aside, that combo costs $12—for raw ingredients that must cost Regal pennies.)

Here’s the full report. Bottom line: Even a no-butter small tub can be 400-670 calories; mediums and larges easily top 1000, and every tablespoon of butter topping adds over 100 more. No wonder the cinemas don’t want to post that.

I asked Jeff Cronin, the spokesman for the Center for Science in the Public Interest, how people can weigh in on this issue, and the process is slightly involved but here’s the response: Continue reading