Go nuts for nuts! But for which ones?

Posted by Luisa de Luca on

Nuts are a great source of energy and nutrients. They do not only include vitamins and essential amino acids, but also are they a great source of vitamin E, vitamin B2, fiber, folate, copper and magnesium.1 As nuts are known for their high calorie content, many people are afraid of gaining weight when consuming them and thus avoid this delicious snack. But are there any nuts that are healthier and less in calories than others?


The answer is yes, there is an actual difference! An ounce of macadamia nuts for example provides 204 calories which makes it the richest nut of all of them, whereas the lowest calorie nut, the cashew, provides 157 calories per ounce, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.2 This sounds like a lot, however there is evidence that nuts can lead to weight loss. The Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2010 found out, that the body does not process 10 to 15 percent of the calories contained in the super snack and that also further 10 percent of the calories get burned through the increased metabolism that comes with eating them.3 Moreover, as they are very satisfying, people are likely to eat less of other foods, which results in a totally balanced energy intake. Astonishingly, dieters eating nuts tend to even lose greater amounts of weight than these without consuming them.


The best nuts for your diet if you do not want to gain weight are almonds (14 grams of fat), pistachios (13 grams of fat) and cashews (13 grams of fat), as they are the lowest in calories. Too high temperatures can destroy the nutrients of the nuts, so avoid nuts that are roasted in oil or salted, instead choose the dry roasted or raw variation. So if you are looking at the calories, it is advisable to rather stay calm on macadamia nuts (21 grams of fat, 2 grams of protein) and pecans (20 grams of fat, 3 grams of protein), as they contain the highest amounts of fat, but the lowest amounts of protein. Nevertheless, all nuts are healthy! As long as you control your portions and do not devour hand after hand full, you will get your daily dose of healthy fats and nutrients, without gaining pounds.


Some nuts are also beneficial for your body in a special way. Walnuts for example contain high amounts of alpha linoleic acid (ALA), which may help heart arrhythmias, reduce inflammation and also oxidation in the arteries after consuming a fatty meal.4 Peanuts are good for your brain, as they are packed with brain-boosting healthy fats and vitamin E. Almonds are good for your bowels, as they contain lots of fiber and the magnesium contained in cashews “may help improve memory and protect against age-related memory loss”, a study in the journal Neuron found out.5 6


Will you now include more nuts in your diet?!

1 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10479223

2 http://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/3705?fgcd=&manu=&lfacet=&format=&count=&max=35&offset=&sort=&qlookup=macadamia

3 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20199999

4 http://www.health.com/health/m/gallery/0,,20585485_4,00.html

5 http://www.everydayhealth.com/diet-and-nutrition/0406/why-you-should-go-nuts-for-nuts.aspx#03

6 https://www.med.umich.edu/pfans/docs/tip-2011/healthynuts-0211.pdf

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