Carbohydrates are the body's main source of energy. In recent years, carbs have gotten a bad reputation as the macronutrient that causes weight gain. The slightest hint of eating carbs while on a diet conjures up lectures from gym nutritionists about the benefits of going low carb. The reality is weight balance has much more to do with overall calorie intake than carbohydrate levels. Foods rich in [good] carbohydrates have many health benefits including: lower cholesterol, reduced risk of heart disease/cancer and help with weight loss.
Energy balance plays a central role in health because it alone determines body weight. Energy balance is described as the relationship between how many calories you consume and how many you burn. This important relationship has three possible outcomes: gaining, losing or maintaining weight. Because body weight and body fat percentage have an important role in preventing disease, it's important to monitor calorie intake and make the necessary adjustments to maintain and improve overall health.
A calorie surplus is a state in which you consume more calories than you burn leading to weight gain in the form of muscle or body fat. While a calorie surplus is required to gain weight, simply eating more only leads to unsightly body fat. To gain muscle, you must combine a calorie surplus with a solid strength training routine.
Nutella has been a staple in my diet for as long as I can remember. Those "chocolate sandwiches" kept my taste buds satisfied for a big chunk of my life. Giving up animal products is the only reason I ditched Nutella, not the ridiculously high sugar content, lack of nutrients or its crack-like addictive qualities. There are vegan alternatives for Nutella but they tend to be pricey and somewhat hard to find. I finally bought a food processor, hazelnuts and dark chocolate and created my own vegan chocolate hazelnut butter aka Homemade Nutella.
I recently bought a food processor and started experimenting with homemade nut butters. Since I grew up on Nutella, I decided to try and make a chocolate-hazelnut butter. Unfortunately, I accidentally bought raw rather than roasted hazelnuts. Nut butters (peanut butter, almond butter...) are made from roasted, not raw nuts. Before processing into a nut butter, the nut should be roasted. The process of roasting hazelnuts is fairly simple.