Eating nuts every day as part of a healthy diet is a good thing. Studies have shown people who eat nuts are less likely to die of heart disease and cancer.
Which nut you eat isn’t that important. Almost every nut is packed with nutrition, although some nuts have more heart-healthy nutrients and fats than do others.
Besides being packed with protein, most nuts contain at least some of these heart-healthy substances:
These good fats help lower your risk of heart disease by lowering your bad cholesterol (LDL) and maintaining or increasing your good cholesterol (HDL). High LDL is one of the primary causes of heart disease and fatal heart attacks.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Many nuts are rich in omega-3 fatty acids which are necessary for human health. Omega-3s are a healthy form of fatty acids that seem to help your heart. They are found in many kinds of fish, but after fish, nuts are one of the best sources.
All nuts contain fiber. The health benefits of fiber are many. They’re good for the heart, cholesterol, blood sugar, and bowels to name a few, and weight loss because it gives you a feeling of fullness.
Vitamin E, an antioxidant, may help prevent or delay coronary heart disease.
Walnuts are the richest in omega-3 fatty acids and contain the most antioxidants of all nuts.
Brazil nuts are high in selenium. Selenium is a trace element also necessary for human health. While people only need a very small amount, selenium plays a key role in thyroid hormone metabolism.
Macadamia nuts contain the greatest amount of monounsaturated fats per serving, more than any natural, commercially available food source.
Almonds are one of the lower calorie nuts. They are also a good source of vitamin E, copper, magnesium, and protein.
Hazelnuts, also known as filberts, are rich in monounsaturated fats. They’re also rich in vitamin E.
Pecans have a high level of antioxidants and are full of necessary minerals such as copper, manganese, zinc and magnesium to name a few.
Cashews are also rich in antioxidants, have healthy monounsaturated fats and are a good source of minerals.
Chestnuts are low in calories and high in fiber, minerals and Vitamin C.
Pistachios contain fewer calories and more potassium and vitamin K per serving than other nuts.
Peanuts are legumes, not nuts. They contain resveratrol (the compound found in grapes, some berries, red wine and dark chocolate), which is a potent antioxidant thought to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Peanuts also contain folic acid and vitamin E.
From the Mayo Clinic (based on 1 ounce)
|Type of nut||Calories||Total fat (sat./unsat.)|
|Almonds, dry roasted||169||15 g (1.1 g/12.9 g)|
|Almonds, raw||163||14 g (1.1 g/12.2 g)|
|Brazil nuts, raw||186||19 g (4.3 g/12.8 g)|
|Cashews, dry roasted||163||13.1 g (2.6 g/10 g)|
|Chestnuts, roasted||69||0.6 g (0.1 g/0.5 g)|
|Hazelnuts (filberts), dry roasted||183||17.7 g (1.3 g/15.6 g)|
|Hazelnuts (filberts), raw||178||17 g (1.3 g/15.2 g)|
|Macadamia nuts, dry roasted||204||21.6 g (3.4 g/17.2 g)|
|Macadamia nuts, raw||204||21.5 g (3.4 g/17.1 g)|
|Peanuts, dry roasted||166||14 g (2g/11.4 g)|
|Pecans, dry roasted||201||21 g (1.8 g/18.3 g)|
|Pistachios, dry roasted||161||12.7 g (1.6 g/10.5 g)|
|Walnuts, halved||185||18.5 g (1.7 g/15.9 g)|