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Why It’s Okay to Go Nuts for Nuts

Although everyone can agree that nuts are good for you, there are still many questions that surround them. There are so many different types of nuts it can get confusing to figure out which ones are good for you and why. Some are higher in fat than others, some are good for your heart, and others can help with cholesterol. Below are some of the more common nuts that we snack on everyday, with some quick information that will help you crack the code when it comes to choosing your nut.


One ounce of almonds contain 163 calories, 14 grams fat, 6 grams carbs and 6 grams protein. They are 50 percent vitamin E and 22 percent vitamin B2. They can potentially lower LDL cholesterol due to being rich in fiber, monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats. Almonds use 10 percent of California’s yearly water usage, so if you are trying to shop sustainable, this nut might not be for you. They are high in phytate, which can potentially prevent the absorption of minerals in the body, so it is better to not over do it when it comes to snacking. Soaking the nut up to 12 hours can help lower the phytate levels. 


One ounce of cashews contains roughly 156 calories, 8.6 grams carbs, 0.9 grams fiber, 12.4 grams fat, 5.2 grams protein and 10 percent vitamin B1. There haven’t been many studies on how cashews benefit overall health, but they are known to contain some antioxidants. If you are going to soak, 2-4 hours is ideal. 


One ounce of walnuts contains 185 calories, 3.9 grams carbs, 1.9 grams fiber, 18.5 grams fat and 4.3 grams protein. Walnuts have been shown to decrease low density lipoprotein cholesterol, decrease blood pressure and improve lipid profile. They are recommended as part of a heart-healthy diet, however be aware of their high PUFA content. Like anything, eaten in moderation is the best way to gain the benefits and avoid the risks. 


An ounce of pistachios contains 159 calories, 7.8 grams carbs, 2.9 grams fiber, 12.9 grams fat, 5.7 grams protein, 21 percent vitamin B1, 28 percent vitamin  B6 and 17% vitamin K. These nuts are low in phytic acid, are a good source of prebiotic fiber and can reduce postprandial glucose (the amount of sugar in the blood after a meal). Besides being a pain to open, pistachios thankfully do not have many downsides. Just be careful when sitting down with a bag of these nuts, their addictively delicious flavor will cause you to keep eating until they are gone. 

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Used under Creative Commons Licensing courtesy of Adam Wyles

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