In February we sent you an article and chart on the nutritional comparison of leafy green vegetables. I wanted to do the same thing with different types of nuts because it’s important to know how they compare when it comes to calories, protein, fat, etc. I have often come across this common belief that nuts are high in fat and calories and should be eaten sparingly.
In fact, I used to be afraid of eating cashews and peanuts because I thought they were the worst of the bunch for my waistline!
It is true nuts are high in fat but not all fats are crated equal! It is also true that nuts are high in calories but not all calories are the same!!
If you are concerned about fat, take comfort in knowing that much of the fat in nuts is the heart-healthy variety. They are loaded with an excellent source of monounsaturated-fatty acids (MUFA) such as oleic and palmitoleic acids, which help to lower LDL or “bad cholesterol” and increase HDL or “good cholesterol. They are also a rich source of the all important omega-3 essential fatty acids like linoleic acid and a-linolenic acid (ALA). Omega-3 fats help to lower the risk of high blood pressure and coronary heart disease.
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When it comes to calories, it’s important to resonate with the fact that it’s not just about how many calories we eat, but more importantly, it’s the quality of calories we eat. Ounce per ounce, nuts and seeds may be relatively higher in calories than some other foods, but when you look at their powerful nutritional value they are far better calories for your body.
Nuts and seeds are also a storehouse of health-benefiting poly-phenolic flavonoid antioxidants such as resveratrol, lutein, biotin, etc. These compounds have been found to offer protection against cancers, heart disease, degenerative nerve disease, and Alzheimer’s disease.
Packed with protein, fibre and essential fats, nuts are one of your best options for a vitality boosting snack giving you a valuable mix of vitamins and minerals. All nuts have different nutritional credentials. I compiled the table below to give you a good reference of the nutritional profile of some of the most commonly used nuts.