One of the benefits of being a registered dietitian nutritionist is the chance to mentor aspiring RDNs. This week I had the pleasure of having Texas Woman’s University intern Monica Parodi working with me. One of her projects was to guest blog on Neily on Nutrition. She loves nuts and chose to write about them. Thanks Monica!
Nuts about Nuts
Nuts as a snack are one of my favorites. They are not only tasty and crunchy but also a nutrient powerhouse. In adequate amounts, nuts help tie you over to your next meal. Many people shy away from them because of their high fat and calorie content per serving. However, they are packed with fiber, protein and healthy fat!
The good news is that nuts can help you lose weight, control blood glucose and reduce risk of heart disease. The 3-fold combination of protein, fiber and fat content in nuts slows down digestion and helps you stay full for longer, which translates into fewer calories ingested. This 3-fold package also helps control the rate at which glucose is released into the bloodstream, which allows for glucose control. Also, nuts have good fats that help lower LDL otherwise known as the ‘bad’ cholesterol, and raise the ‘good’ cholesterol, HDL. Lower levels of LDL and increased HDL are known to reduce the risk of heart disease.
So, what is a serving of nuts?
One-ounce is a standard serving, a little less than ¼ cup. And it depends on the nut. Here is a list of serving sizes, based upon a 1-ounce portion.
- Almonds: 23 nuts (163 cal)
- Cashews: 18 nuts (157 cal)
- Peanuts: 28 nuts (164 cal)
- Pecans: 19 halves (196 cal)
- Pistachios: 49 nuts (158 cal)
- Walnuts: 14 halves (185 cal)
There are many ways to eat nuts including snacks, added to your meal or favorite recipes. You can also get all kinds of nut butters ranging from peanut to hazelnut or even pistachio butter!
- Small apple with about 15 almonds for a snack (200 cal)
- Toss some walnuts (1 oz) on a spinach salad (190 cal)
- Spread 2 tablespoons of nut butter on a small whole grain pita with banana slices for breakfast (325 cal)