Nuts can, and we believe should, play a key role in a healthy diet. A recent Google search on “nut studies” showed 27 million results. Enough to drive you nuts. Here’s a concise summary from Flo, our resident health nut and inspiration for the Little NutThings® Health Nut t-shirt.
Why are nuts good for us?
They’re high in plant protein, anti-oxidants, monounsaturated fatty acids (the ‘good’ fats), vitamins and minerals. They’re cholesterol free and a great source of fiber. Studies show a variety of health benefits, including lowering blood pressure and LDL cholesterol. Peanuts are so nutritious they’re a major ingredient in Plumpy’nut™, a ready-to-use therapeutic food that has revolutionized the way childhood malnutrition is treated and prevented around the world
Pretty impressive, any down side?.
On average, nuts have have 9 calories per gram, making them the most calorie-dense nutrient. So unless you want to gain weight, don’t add nuts to your diet without subtracting a similar number of calories; for example, substitute nuts for chips or cookies. Second, remember that many processed nuts that are so handy for snacks are fried in oil and/or laced with salt, which can raise your blood pressure.
Are the benefits the same for all nuts?
No, according to data from the University of Toronto all kinds of nuts are superfoods – but their primary health benefits, and calories, vary. Most studies indicate that walnuts, Brazil nuts and almonds provide the most healthful benefits. Personally, we love them all. Here’s the calorie count for one ounce of the 10 favorites. Note that one ounce is not very much; one ounce of Brazil nuts is only 6-8 nuts.
- Almonds: 169 calories
- Brazil Nuts: 190 calories
- Cashews: 163 calores
- Hazelnuts/filberts: 178 calories
- Macadamia nuts: 204 calories
- Peanuts: 166 calories
- Pecans: 196 calories
- Pine Nuts: 160
- Pistachios: 161 calories
- Sunflower seeds: 165 calories
- Walnuts: 185 calories.
Not to mention coconuts, cedar nuts, and so many more. We could go on and on about the benefits of each. The bottom line: nuts are fun and good for you! Go shell out for some soon. Just eat them by the handful, not the can full.
And as Flo says “Live Well … and Out of the Shell™”.