Nuts: Good Or Bad?

nutsNuts taste good, and grabbing a handful of unsalted almonds when you’re hungry and on the run is a practical alternative to processed snack foods.

Nuts are a wonderful source of protein. An ounce of peanuts contains 6.71 grams of protein and almonds 6.03 grams. Walnuts, Brazil nuts, Cashews and Hazel Nuts are also good sources of protein (about 4 grams per ounce).

But aren’t nuts high in fat? Fortunately, while nuts are high in fat, they are primarily high in “good fats”, either monosaturated or polysaturatedfats. The fat content of an ounce of nuts ranges from 13 to 21 grams, but only 1-2 grams are saturated fats linked to high cholesterol.

Good fats are crucial to the body in hormone production, cell metabolism, absorption of essential vitamins and myriad other functions.

The calorie content of fats is high. Fats have 9 calories per gram, while carbohydrates and proteins each have 4 calories per gram, which means that fats have twice the calories as the same weight of other foods.

Nuts should be eaten “raw”, not toasted or processed, and not salted. Salted nuts are extremely high in sodium and should be avoided. Organic nuts are widely available.

My recommendation is not too many nuts, but don’t forget them in your diet. Nuts are a convenient way to provide healthy nutrition. Nuts are rich in the proteins we need to keep our blood sugar levels in balance.

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