DEAR DR. BLONZ: I have been grinding my flaxseed and storing it in the refrigerator for use on my breakfast cereal. I typically grind enough to last a month or so. However, a recent article about how the omega fats in flaxseed can oxidize suggested I should not continue this routine. Is this a correct assumption? -- F.S., Berkeley, California
DEAR F.S.: Unground flaxseeds last a while; be sure to check the expiration date on this and any product. Grinding and storing them in a well-sealed container in the refrigerator should be fine, but consider shifting your storage to the freezer, as this would provide an extra measure of protection from heat and light. As a general rule, the closer to the time of use that you grind the seeds, the better.
DEAR DR. BLONZ: I enjoy roasted nuts, especially almonds. But are they as healthy as the raw versions? -- A.L., online
DEAR A.L.: Nuts and seeds tend to be healthful foods, and almonds are no exception. The nutritional differences between roasted and raw almonds are not that significant, so my advice is to stick with the ones you prefer. I also enjoy roasted almonds, which are now available in a variety of flavors.
DEAR DR. BLONZ: I generally enjoy your column, but was disappointed by the recent column about beans, in which you did not mention the option of purchasing frozen, cooked beans. The writer apparently felt that their only options were cooking beans from scratch or getting canned beans; what about frozen? The writer was concerned about sodium content, so I’m surprised they didn’t notice the low-sodium and no-sodium options right next to the regular versions. Perhaps you can supplement what you wrote in the column by mentioning the frozen option, or at least write to this person and add that idea. -- M.L., online
DEAR M.L.: Thank you, and I’m sorry to hear that you were disappointed by that column. My response had focused on canned beans because that was what the writer had in their pantry. I could have added the possibility of starting with dried beans, where soaking is part of the prep, and you can control how much salt is added. And I also could have mentioned the option of buying frozen beans, as you suggested. Sincere thanks for your comments, which are now part of this discussion.
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