What Is The Healthiest Nut To Eat – When it comes to nuts, almonds get all the love. True; you probably have little packets of almond butter (thanks Justin) at the bottom of your purse, almond milk in the fridge, and chocolate covered almonds in the pantry. But are nuts really the healthiest?
Nuts are good sources of healthy monounsaturated fats, protein, fiber, and many different vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants,” says nutritionist Maggie Michalczyk, RD.
What Is The Healthiest Nut To Eat
“Most of us don’t get enough fiber, so eating more nuts is an easy way to get more,” she says. In addition, many types of nuts are good sources of magnesium, another nutrient that many people are deficient in.
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Another benefit: Eating more nuts can help your heart by helping to lower bad cholesterol and raise good cholesterol.
Whichever type of nuts you choose, they are a very portable and versatile food. “There are so many ways to use nuts, whether as a snack, nut butter, salad dressing or chicken or fish bread,” Michalczyk explains.
Basically, you can’t go wrong, so feel free to mix up your notes. Here are 10 healthier options to boot, from almonds and more.
Well, yes, there’s a reason why almonds get so many health ads. Almonds are not only a strong source of fiber and protein, but they have also been shown to help reduce inflammation in the body and help you maintain a healthy weight. (Some of these anti-inflammatory benefits may be due to the fact that almonds are high in vitamin E. One serving provides 60 percent of your daily needs!)
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Remember, one slice of almond yields 24 nuts, so watch your portions.
Per 1-ounce serving: 164 calories, 14 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 6 g carbs, 1 g sugar, 3.5 g fiber, 6 g protein
“These nuts are full of selenium, a mineral involved in the production of thyroid hormones and important for the antioxidant function of the processes that protect us from cancer,” says nutritionist Kelly R. Jones, RD. It is also beneficial for hair, skin and nail health.
“One study even showed an immediate effect on improving blood cholesterol levels within nine hours of taking it,” he says.
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But remember: these are big asses. You only need to eat two or three a day to reap the benefits, so don’t eat too few of them, like almonds.
Per 1-ounce serving: 187 calories, 19 g fat (4.5 g saturated fat), 3 g carbs, 0 g sugar, 2 g fiber, 4 g protein
“Cashews contain more iron than any other nut,” says Jones.
Cashews’ smooth texture also makes them a good alternative to milk, Jones says. Try using salted cashews as a substitute for Parmesan.
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: 160 calories, 12 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 9 g carbs, 1 g sugar, 2 g fiber, 5 g protein
Usually associated with cookies, macadamia nuts are rarely considered. “Macadamia nuts are high in thiamin (also known as vitamin B1), manganese, and copper, and contain healthy monounsaturated fats, the type found in avocados and olive oil,” says Michalczyk.
“It’s also great in salads or as a more nutritious coating for chicken or fish,” she says.
: 204 calories, 21 g fat (0 g fat), 3.9 g carbs, 1 g sugar, 2 g fiber, 2.4 g protein
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“Peanuts, while not really nuts but part of the legume family, are a good source of protein and several vitamins and minerals, such as magnesium and phosphorus,” says Michalczyk.
Reap the rewards of eating peanut butter, but don’t try to lie in the jar. “Remember that peanut butter is high in calories, so stick to a two-tablespoon serving,” says Michalczyk.
: 161 calories, 0.4g fat (0g saturated fat), 4.5g carbs, 1g sugar, 2g fiber, 7g protein
“These little green gems make a great snack or salad topping because of their high nutrient and antioxidant content,” says Michalczyk. It is one of the nuts with the highest concentration of lutein and zeaxanthin, which improve eye health.
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“Even better, behavioral research shows that it takes longer to get rid of pistachios, so you’re likely to eat less,” he adds.
: 159 calories, 12.8 g fat (0 g fat), 7.7 g carbs, 2.1 g sugar, 3 g fiber, 5.7 g protein
“Walnuts are an excellent plant-based source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are important in our diet and help reduce the risk of heart disease,” says Michalczyk.
Although they have more calories and fat than other nuts, they contain healthy fats that the body needs (and help you feel fuller longer), he says.
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: 220 calories, 22 g fat (0 g fat), 5 g carbs, 1 g sugar, 2 g fiber, 5 g protein
“Pecans are one of the best-known food sources of vitamin E,” says Michalczyk. “It’s also a great source of thiamine, a B vitamin that plays an important role in energy metabolism.”
You can use them in yogurt, oatmeal, soups, vegetable side dishes, and more. “Fall is the perfect time to water just about anything,” Michalczyk says.
: 196 calories, 20 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 3 g carbs, 1 g sugar, 2 g fiber, 2.6 g protein
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“Cedar nuts are a good source of vitamins E and K, as well as iron and magnesium,” says Michalczyk.
Iron, which is needed to transport oxygen in the body, is very important for vegetarians, who may experience mineral deficiencies without meat in their diet. Pine nuts contain about eight grams of iron per cup, so they’re a great source of the mineral, Michalczyk explains.
Use pine nuts to make pesto or sprinkle over pasta, salad, chicken or fish for a nice crunch.
: 190 calories, 19 g fat (1.5 g fat), 0 mg sodium, 4 g carbs, 1 g sugar, 1 g fiber, 4 g protein
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In addition to Nutella’s delicious taste, “hazelnuts are a good source of vitamin E, copper, manganese, and antioxidants,” says Michalczyk. Their antioxidants have even been shown to help reduce cholesterol and inflammation.
Enjoy hazelnuts as a snack or add roasted hazelnuts to vegetable dishes, salads and pasta. (Just be sure to keep your skin, as it has the highest concentration of antioxidants, Michalczyk says.)
Or skip the store-bought stuff and make your own hazelnut spread at home with hazelnuts, cocoa and a little sweetener.
: 178 calories, 17 g fat (1.3 g fat), 0 mg sodium, 4.7 g carbs, 1.2 g sugar, 2.8 g fiber, 4.2 g protein
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Isadora Baum is a freelance writer, certified health coach, and author of 5 Minute Energy. He can’t resist a good sampler, a margarita, a new HIIT class, or a simple laugh. Learn more about her at her website: isadorabaum.com.
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Healthful Nuts: What Are The Healthiest Nuts To Eat?
Perhaps the most versatile food, we use nuts in a variety of dishes and even as a delicious topping for desserts and healthy side dishes – from scoops of vanilla ice cream to fruit salads! Nuts can also be eaten on their own as a sweet or savory snack. For example, you eat a few salted peanuts at a baseball game in the summer months but crave honey-roasted ones in the winter.
No matter how you choose to eat them, nuts can be incorporated into your diet in a variety of ways – as a semi-accompaniment to a meal or on their own as a high-protein supplement are just two examples!
The ability of nuts to enhance various dishes is not their only strength. As well as having a wide variety, there are many types of nuts to choose from and they all differ in taste and texture. From common varieties like almonds and cashews to lesser-known varieties like cashews and pistachios, when it comes to picking one that will work best with your weekly meal prep, you’re spoiled for choice.
With so many to choose from, it’s easy to get lost researching the nutritional value of each nut. After talking with a health professional, we decided
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