All nuts are considered a beneficial and healthy addition to the everyday diet. Each variety is loaded with healthy mono and polyunsaturated fats, vitamins and minerals, antioxidants, fiber, and filling protein. Packed with all these nutrients, it’s no wonder that nuts have been shown to provide tons of amazing health benefits such as lowering LDL (bad) cholesterol and thus, decreasing your risk for heart disease!
The only problem with these tiny bits of pleasure? They are addicting and that can be troublesome to your waistline. (Why does there always have to be a catch??) Ya know that old chip commercial slogan, “Betcha can’t eat just one?” With nuts it’s, “Betcha can’t eat just 50!”
Now, before you swear off nuts forever with the alarmingly high calorie count, please know that you CAN and SHOULD relish over a few little nuts a day in order to reap the benefits and still satisfy your taste buds. Just substitute a 100-200 calorie portion of nuts for one of your other daily snacks. Then, put the container or bag away and promise those nuts you will be back tomorrow!
Below are MY top 5 picks for the healthiest nuts!
One serving of almonds consists of 24 nuts, 160 calories, 14 grams of fat (0 grams saturated fat!!), 6 grams of protein, and 3 grams of filling fiber! Besides all the heart healthy benefits, almonds are also beneficial to bone health because they contain nutrients such as calcium and magnesium.
One serving of walnuts consists of 14 halves (1 oz) 185 calories, 18 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 4 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 4 g protein. As one of the highest plant sources of protein, walnuts also contain more omega 3 fats than other nut varieties. Walnuts have been shown to not only play a crucial role in lowering LDL (bad) cholesterol, but also in reducing levels of CRP (C-reactive protein, which is an independent marker of heart disease) by improving the elasticity of your blood vessels and reducing plaque accumulation. Eat a couple of these nuts after a meal high in saturated fat and you just might save your arteries!! (I always make Brandon crunch on some walnuts after he eats french fries).
In March 2004 the FDA even approved the following health claim:
“Supportive but not conclusive research shows that eating 1.5 oz of walnuts per day, as part of a low saturated fat and low cholesterol diet, and not resulting in increased caloric intake may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.”
One serving consists of 49 kernels, 157 calories, 13 g Fat (2 g sat), 8 g carbohydrate, 3 g Fiber, 6 g protein. Not only are they loaded with 30 vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients, pistachios also contain a high amount of filling fiber! Their tiny shell packaging also makes binging a lot more labor intensive!
One serving consists of 19 halves (1 oz), 20 g fat (2 g saturated), 4 g carbohydrate, 3 g Fiber, 3 g Protein. Pecans contain more antioxidants than any other variety of nuts. This is great news when it comes to fighting diseases such as cancer, Parkinson’s, and Alzheimer’s!
One serving consists of 8 nuts (1 oz), 190 calories, 19 g Fat (4 grams saturated), 3 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 4 g protein. I had to add Brazil nuts to my list because they are a favorite! Brazil nuts are high in a nutrient called Selenium, which works with proteins in the body to form antioxidants that help neutralize free radicals (free radicals = damaging to the body)!
There you have it! My Top 5!! What are YOUR favorite types of nuts??
If you haven’t already submitted a recipe for the Magic Bullet Giveaway! Don’t forget, you only have until Friday!!
And, if you are going through withdrawal like me, read about how Jin from LOST keeps his svelt figure by reading some of the interview with Daniel Dae Kim (Jin) on The Actor’s Diet. Thanks for sharing this post with us Cristin!Print