Go Nuts with These Tips on Enjoying the Healthiest Nuts

Yes, nuts are healthy for you on the whole. You can even ask your personal trainer, which gyms like Fitness First offers. Personal trainers aren’t experts on just exercises, as they know lots about nutrition as well.

But to make sure you get it right, heed the following tips on eating nuts.

Eat Them Raw

Raw nuts taste great as they are. You don’t really have to do anything else to enjoy them. But you can also go with dry roasted nuts as well.

What you really want to avoid are packaged nuts, as they may be packed with too much sugars along with other preservatives. Other types of roasted nuts (roasted in oil) may add unhealthy fats, or may have been roasted in temperatures so high that it burns off all the nutrients you were looking for. 

Great Nut and Carb Combos

While you can enjoy nuts as snacks, you might also want to pair the nuts with carbs. The nuts help in slowing down digestion and the breakdown of sugar.

So, you can always sprinkle some nuts in salads. Nuts are great when added to nonfat or low-fat yogurt. Spread some nut butter on a slice of pear or apple.

Best Nuts for Weight Maintenance (Or Even Weight Loss)

In general, all nuts are healthy in moderate amounts. They all contain a nice combination of protein, fiber, and that’s great for most diets. Nuts can make you feel full and suppress your appetite to help you reduce your food cravings.

If you’re specifically looking for the nuts with the lowest calorie count per ounce, go with almonds, cashews, and pistachios. They all have 160 calories per ounce. Just keep in mind that you have 49 pistachios in an ounce, but only 23 almonds per ounce and 16 cashews per ounce.

Best Nuts for Heart Health

It’s true that all nuts can be good for your heart, because these nuts contain monounsaturated fats. The American Health Association recommends that the majority of the fats you consume should be monounsaturated (or polyunsaturated). Monounsaturated fats can reduce the levels of bad cholesterol in your body, and this can then reduce the risk of stroke and heart disease.

But walnuts are probably the best option for cardio health, as they also have large amounts of alpha linoleic acid (ALA) that’s also good for the heart. Some studies even indicate that ALA can help with heart arrhythmias and may also reduce inflammation and oxidation in the arteries (after you’ve eaten a fatty meal).

Best Nuts for the Brain

Peanuts will be the smartest choice here. Sure, it’s not technically a nut (peanut is actually a legume), but it’s close enough for the rest of us.

Peanuts contain large amounts of folate, which is a mineral that’s crucial for brain development and also protects against cognitive decline. The folate is great for pregnant women as well, since the folate helps to protect unborn babies from birth defects.

You also get lots of healthy fats and vitamin E that helps with brain health.

Best Nuts for Preventing Disease

Go with almonds as well. They have lots of fiber, in addition to being low on calories. Plus, almonds contain high levels of vitamin E that can act as an antioxidant to help fight off dangerous inflammation. Some studies even indicate that the vitamin E can also help with age-related cognitive decline and even lung cancer.

Best Nuts for Men

Or, best nuts for the prostate. This is purely a male gender issue, because the prostate isn’t really part of the female anatomy.

You can go with pecan, which contains high levels of beta-sitosterol. This is a plant steroid that may help to relieve symptoms associated with an enlarged prostate (benign prostatic hyperplasia or BPH). You can go with an ounce of pecans (that’s about 18 to 20 halves of the pecan nuts), which gives you about 200 calories, 3g of protein, and 21g of fat.

Another good option is eating Brazil nuts. They’re quite delicious, and each one contains lots of selenium. This is a mineral that may help with various diseases, including prostate cancer.

You do want to limit it to just a single Brazil nut. Just one will do, because it may be dangerous if you consume too much selenium. If you eat more than a single Brazil nut, you may be increasing the risk of type 2 diabetes.

Nuts with Most Protein

This is important for vegetarians who may rely mostly on nuts for their protein needs. Also, they make good snacks for muscle-builders.

If you’re getting a ¼ cup serving of nuts, go with these nuts in particular.

  • Peanuts. 9.5 grams of protein per ¼ cup
  • Almonds. 7 grams
  • Pistachios. 6 grams (that’s as much protein as what you get in 1 egg)
  • Cashews. 5 grams
  • Walnuts. 4.5 grams
  • Pine nuts. 4.5 grams

Final Words

Obviously, you need to avoid nuts if you’re allergic. It’s actually safer if you just avoid nuts in general if you’re allergic to one type of nut.

But if you’re not allergic, then by all means, enjoy nuts. Just make sure you eat moderate amounts!

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