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Best And Worst Nuts For Your Health

Posted: 04/29/2012 10:49 am


By Amanda MacMillan

Nuts are nature's way of showing us that good things come in small packages. These bite-size nutritional powerhouses are packed with heart-healthy fats, protein, vitamins and minerals.

Here's a look at the pros and cons of different nuts, as well as the best and worst products on supermarket shelves today. Of course, you can get too much of these good things: Nuts are high in fat and calories, so while a handful can hold you over until dinner, a few more handfuls can ruin your appetite altogether. And although nuts are a healthy choice by themselves, they'll quickly become detrimental to any diet when paired with sugary or salty toppings or mixes.

Best Nuts For Your Diet: Almonds, Cashews, Pistachios
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All nuts are about equal in terms of calories per ounce, and in moderation, are all healthy additions to any diet. "Their mix of omega-3 fatty acids, protein and fiber will help you feel full and suppress your appetite," says Judy Caplan, R.D., a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

The lowest-calorie nuts at 160 per ounce are almonds (23 nuts; 6 grams protein, 14 grams fat); cashews (16 to 18 nuts; 5 grams protein, 13 grams fat); and pistachios (49 nuts; 6 grams protein, 13 grams fat). Avoid nuts packaged or roasted in oil; instead, eat them raw or dry roasted, says Caplan. (Roasted nuts may have been heated in hydrogenated or omega-6 unhealthy fats, she adds, or to high temperatures that can destroy their nutrients.)

More from Health.com:
Which Foods Burn the Most Fat?
10 Best Foods for Your Heart
America's Healthiest Superfoods for Women


Flickr photo by sweetbeetandgreenbean

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