The edible seed of any tree of a certain species of trees, especially the Persian or English walnut, is called a walnut. While it is used as a nut in the kitchen, it is not a real biological nut. The shell is abandoned when the kernel has fully ripened, and the nut is utilised as a garnish or snack. Eastern black walnut and butternut nuts are less typically eaten.
You might assume that walnuts, being a plant seed, are syn free. Although most fruits and vegetables are totally free on your syn allowance, walnuts are not. Neither are most nuts, which while they are good sources of protein, do come with a large amount of calories added on.
Walnuts come out 1 syn, but this for just half a walnut! If you had a recipe calling for five walnuts, you’d be using up 10 whole syns. For an allowance of 15, this can obviously be quite a lot, especially as soon allowances only permit 5 or 10 syns a day. Depending on the Slimming World programme you have selected to follow.
You heard correctly, it would only take seven and half walnuts for your syn allowance to be gone for the day, and even a significant rollover couldn’t save you much room. Walnuts can be quite a large nut compared to other types, but as a stand alone snack it is hardly fulfilling. It’s better used as an ingredient in a recipe, or in larger quantities, but not as a small snack.
Since 1 syn is roughly 20 calories, really no food is truly syn free. However, Slimming World doesn’t always count syns in this way, and it’s just a general guideline to follow if you find yourself stuck calculating syns for a meal. Things like fruit, vegetables, and most meats are counted as syn free as they are good for your body and necessary to a balanced diet.
If everything had a syn count, you’d be calculating a lot more syns, and you’d probably have a much larger syn allowance. Instead, healthy foods and foods that promote a well balanced diet are syn free, to help you figure out what you need more of and what extras you can add.
Being high in protein and fibre, walnuts and other nuts tend to have quite a high syn count. This is because their nutritional value directly translate into calories, or at least near enough. So all the syns in walnuts come from this nutritional value, of mostly protein and fibre.
You may be curious to see how walnuts compare to other nut types. Nuts are a versatile protein, which are also rich in fibre. Although chock full of syns, they aren’t necessarily bad for you to eat. Rather it is just the high calorie content which brings nuts to a less healthy position.
Your body will turn any excess calories unused into stored ft, so it can be burned for energy later on. Being so rich in protein means that nuts tend to have plenty of excess calories, especially if you eat many of them by the handful. So let’s see how bad it is, with these syn values of popular nuts:
It should be noted that many of these nuts are considered a Healthy Extra (HE) by Slimming World. With the exception of the dry roasted nuts, most nuts are a healthy extra which can be added syn free to a meal. Healthy Extras are formulated to provide your body with the vitamins, minerals, and fibre it requires. Wholegrain and morning cereals are high in fibre, while dairy such as milk and cheese are high in calcium.
Each day, pick two calculated Healthy Extra 'a' alternatives (which are for calcium) and just one additional measured Healthy Extra 'b' option (which is fibre) while optimising your food. Every day, we've introduced a Healthy Extra 'a' and 'b' option (you may use your extra Healthy Extra 'a' option however you want). This means you can include some nuts as an option b, helping you fit some well needed fibre into your diet.