Can Nuts Be Part of a Healthy Diet?

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Absolutely! While it's true that nuts have a naturally-high fat content, it's usually the "good" type of fat. Plus nuts are high in fiber, protein, and contain many vitamins and minerals. As long as you keep an eye on portion size, nuts can be a tasty and nutritious part of your diet.

Try these tips for incorporating nuts into your diet:

  • Instead of simply adding nuts to your diet, eat them in place of other snacks; that way you won't add extra calories.
  • The trick to eating nuts without overdoing the fat is to measure out a one ounce serving size. A three-by-three inch mint can, such as an Altoids can, is great for holding one ounce of nuts.
  • Choose raw nuts. If you opt for dry-roasted or oil-roasted nuts, be aware that the calorie and fat content will usually be higher. If nuts are roasted with hydrogenated oil you will be getting more of the "bad fat" and less of the good. Also remember that added salt should be limited if you have high blood pressure.
  • Avoid sugar-coated, chocolate-dipped and other candied nuts, as these add unnecessary fat calories.
  • Buy nuts in the shell; having to crack them open will slow your eating down!
  • Coconut and palm nuts are exceptions to the healthy nut rule as they contain high levels of saturated fats.  

 

Nuts At a Glance

 

Nuts (raw, shelled, 1 oz) Calories Fat Carbs Fiber Protein
Almonds 164 14 6 3 6
Brazil Nuts 190 19 4 2 4
Cashews 157 12 9 1 5
Hazelnuts 178 17 5 3 4
Macadamias 204 22 4 2 2
Peanuts 161 14 5 2 7
Pecans 196 20 4 3 3
Pine Nuts 191 19 4 1 4
Pistachios 158 13 8 3 6
Walnuts 183 18 4 2 4