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Are chestnuts fattening? Here is the expert’s word

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It’s autumn and we’re obviously talking about chestnuts. It is the fruit of the “chestnut tree”, a plant botanically associated with three species of the genus Castanea and typical of the temperate regions of Europe, Asia and West Africa. Typically autumn ripe and very easy to harvest, chestnuts are mostly found in hilly and not too high mountainous areas, where the chestnut is native, wild or cultivated. Not everyone knows that the chestnut tree is one of the trees that hosts the most edible mushrooms and also allows the cultivation of truffles.

For many centuries they have been a good sustainable and somewhat nutritious, if not almost irreplaceable, food resource for the lower classes. Before them, the wood also offers us walnuts, and even before hazelnuts and pine nuts while concomitantly or immediately after we find medlar trees and strawberry trees. However, the chestnuts are really very good and they follow one another, just like the cherries. These are real comfort foods, but too often we wonder if they are really fattening. Here is what you need to know to be able to take full advantage of this fall delicacy, without any feeling of guilt.

Energy charge: We assume that none of us should deprive ourselves of eating chestnuts in autumn, unless we have an allergy. Chestnuts are very rich in nutritional properties and are able to give us a much needed energy boost, rich in starches and vitamin C, contain B vitamins that help fight weakness and have large amounts of magnesium, potassium and of phosphorus. But it must be said that to contain all the calories, porridge is much better.

The calorie content of chestnuts varies according to the method of cooking. For 100 grams of chestnuts the calories can vary from 100 (if they are fresh), to 120 (if they are boiled); they also meet the quota of 190 calories if roasted and 300 if dry. Everything obviously depends on the quantities you eat because chestnuts do not make you fat in absolute terms. Obviously, if you follow a low-calorie diet, it is advisable to reduce the amount of bread and pasta so that you can enjoy a little more chestnuts. In this case, boiled foods are preferred, thus avoiding chestnut-based jams and candied chestnuts.

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