Are you nuts about nuts? If you love eating nuts, it’s best to be in the know about which ones are the best and worst for your diet.
Nuts are great in terms of nutritional value. They’re packed with healthy fats which are good for your heart, full of protein, vitamins, and minerals. However, nuts are also unfortunately high in fat and calories so if you’ve been scoffing them down as snacks, one ought to be careful on just how much you’re snacking on. Everything in moderation is best, and of course, have them without the salty or sugary toppings of you’ll be piling on the unnecessary pounds!
The great thing about nuts is that they are quite versatile. You can make your own nut butter for healthier fewer calories laden spread for your bread rather than buying peanut butter off shelves in stores. You can grind them up to make ground almonds to add to your baking at home and you can also make your own nut milk as an alternative milk for your diet like almond milk which is free of cholesterol, saturated fat and is also naturally lactose-free. A great way to go dairy-free if you’re looking to change from using dairy products in your daily diet.
If you like incorporating nuts into your diet, here are the best and worst nuts to be aware of.
Best nuts for your diet
The best nuts for your diet are: almonds, cashews, and pistachios
All nuts are about equal in terms of calories per ounce, and in moderation, are all healthy additions to any diet. According to Judy Caplan, RD, a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, she says that their mix of omega-3 fatty acids, protein, and fiber will help you feel full and suppress your appetite.
Caplan informs that the lowest-calorie nuts at 160 per ounce are almonds (23 nuts; 6 grams protein, 14 grams fat); cashews (16 to 18 nuts; 5 grams protein, 13 grams fat); and pistachios (49 nuts; 6 grams protein, 13 grams fat). Caplan also advises to avoid nuts packaged or roasted in oil; instead, eat them raw or dry roasted. Roasted nuts may have been heated in hydrogenated or omega-6 unhealthy fats, she adds, or too high temperatures that can destroy their nutrients.
Worst nuts for your diet
The worst nuts for your diet are: macadamia nuts and pecans
Caplan warns that when it comes to nuts, every ounce counts. Ounce for ounce, macadamia nuts (10 to 12 nuts; 2 grams protein, 21 grams fat) and pecans (18 to 20 halves; 3 grams protein, 20 grams fat) have the most calories—200 each —along with the lowest amounts of protein and the highest amounts of fats. Can you believe that?! No more macadamia nuts and pecans for us!
However, Caplan says that they’re still good nuts. You just have to snack wise and know the difference. The difference between these and the lowest-calorie nuts is only 40 calories an ounce. As long as you’re practicing proper portion control and not downing handfuls at a time, says Caplan, any kind of raw, plain nut will give you a good dose of healthy fats and nutrients. As we said, everything in moderation is best. Just watch out your portions when you’re next snacking on nuts!