Eating Nuts Isn’t Nuts–Why It’s Smart

by Jo-Ann Heslin, MA, RD, CDN on November 7, 2011 · 0 comments

Once a no-no food, nuts are now a go-to snack. Trade associations for walnuts, peanuts, almonds, pecans, pistachios, and tree nuts are all doing public relations campaigns to share with you the health benefits of nuts. The emphasis is on the healthy fats, antioxidants, and minerals rich in all nuts. The Almond Board packs small tin boxes full of almonds to demonstrate a serving size (23 almonds) – a handful or no more than a quarter cup. PistachioHealth.com proudly says you can eat 49 nuts for this same-sized serving, whereas the National Peanut Board can only offer 28 nuts in a quarter cup. For walnuts it’s less, about 12 halves. In this case, size is not an advantage. If you keep it to a handful not a canful, nuts are a healthy snack.

Some nutty facts worth noting:

  • Macadamia nuts may help lower inflammation which can protect you against heart disease.
  • Walnuts are rich in healthy omega-3 fats.
  • Almonds are rich in vitamin E.
  • Pistachios and pecans are rich in antioxidants.
  • Peanuts are rich in protein and resveratrol, the same health-promoting substance found in red wine.
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