Nuts? How Much Is Enough…..

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Nuts 1
steffenz

Nuts about nuts? If you are a fan of any kind of healthy diet you will no doubt be into eating nuts and seeds. They provide a power punch of nutrients, good fat and anti-oxidants. They are cheap and easy to get on the move making for a perfect snack….

Main Benefits - To me the main benefits of nuts comes from their abundant source of minerals like Calcium, Magnesium and Zinc which are pretty hard to get in todays diet. They also provide good levels of nourishing fats which help promote the health of body and mind. Obviously some nuts are better than others but they all hold their qualities;

  • Almonds - A Vitamin E powerhouse and probably the most versatile nut when it comes to taste. They are great with fruit or alone and provide a nice crunch making them the perfect “grab a handful” nut.
  • Walnuts - The only nut packed with Omega-3′s thats why if you only eat one type of nut make it the Walnut. They are tasty sprinkled on Berries or Yoghurt and work a treat with Apple’s or some strong Cheese.
  • Brazil Nuts - Just 3 of these will provide you with your daily intake of Selenium, a potent anti-oxidant which is one of the tried and proven to cut your risk of developing many diseases.

Those are three of my favourites and definitely something you should aim to have in your diet daily. Of course there are loads of other great nuts like Macadamia’s, Pecans (especially tasty) and Cashews (Actually a legume but good nevertheless) not to mention seeds which are awesome for sprinkling on things or snacking on.

What to Avoid - Well there are some things which you would consider a nut but actually are not, The most guilty being the “Peanut” which is actually a legume and this makes them unfavourable in comparison to the other nuts. They have a high Omega-6 fat content, while not the end of the world it doesn’t compare to the 3-6 fatty acid ratio that Walnuts hold. The main thing for me though is that Peanuts are often contaminated with carcinogens and mould basically putting a load of stress on your immune system and body in general. They are also one of the most pesticide ridden crops around!

Saying this Peanuts are not the end of the world and I always keep a tub of organic whole-nut peanut butter at home for a few reasons; They are packed full of Vitamin E, Magnesium and Folate which are hugely beneficial to your health. Fresh Organic peanut butter is also great on carrots and celery allowing you to make quick and healthy snacks and condiments. So long as you don’t eat too much of the stuff and stick to it in moderation I feel Peanuts are a healthy option but make sure you go for fresh, quality and organic!

Too Little - So how many nuts are too few? Nuts are pretty much the best source of monounsaturated fat you can get, this stuff makes your skin supple and provides general nourishment for your glandular system. Unfortunately the body cannot make it by itself so it rely’s on diet making it essential you get some nuts, seeds or olive oil in whenever you can….

Just Right- I would say eating around 40-60 grams of nuts per day is optimal, there is not much harm in going higher so long as the rest of your diet is in check. Sixty grams of nuts amounts to about 2 handfuls which should be doable for even the busiest person.

Too Much- Its easy to overdo it on nuts. Not only calorie wise but through mindless eating. I have been to many a dinner party in which the cocktail nuts got the better of me….. The main problem with a high intake of nuts is that they can be very hard to digest in large quantities putting a strain on your digestive system. Once you start hitting 100grams of nuts that should be enough for the day unless your severely limited for food choices….

Nuts are amazing and definitely a power food we should all eat regularly. Just make sure to stick to raw, fresh nuts when you can……

Also steer clear of trail mixes which are loaded with sugary dried fruits and chocolate chips etc, although they are touted as healthy they are far from it. Instead create your own trail mix by mixing;

  • Almonds
  • Sunflower Seeds
  • Cocoa Nibs
  • Coconut Flakes
  • Handful of Raisins

Its far cheaper and allows you pack specific portions as you please. Its best to make a batch in a large jar and use it as you go along…

Comments

  1. Tyson says

    I am a big fan of cashews and have them daily as part of my diet. You touched on them briefly but are they a good nut to consume when compared to Almonds or Walnuts?

    @ Tyson: Although not strictly Paleo or nut category I would put Cashews in the same area as most other nuts. Not as good as Almonds, Walnuts or Brazil Nuts but they hold their own qualities and again are fine in moderation. I feel they compliment salads very well, especially topped on a Chicken salad…… So don’t sweat eating them they are pretty good!

  2. Marc Feel Good Eating says

    Good post.
    Lately I have been very dissapointed with my nuts (that sounds funny ;-))…..
    as their popularity has increased, so have the prices and the quality of freshness. I bought some stale almonds at whole foods just the other day. They took them back, agreed with me and told me they would look into it. (bought some brazil nuts instead)

    Now that nuts are being irradiated, do you still think the good outweighs the bad?

    cheers,
    Marc

  3. Elliot Wilson says

    I’ve trie d to stay clear of peanuts for a while now, the only exception would be the occasional serving of peanut butter (it tastes so good)! Usually I’ll make do with almond butter though – which unfortunately is a lot more expensive.

    Is 100g roughly a handful?

  4. Rodney says

    Any thoughts on the healthiest forms to eat? I hear raw is good AND then that raw has some harmful things (phytates etc., not exactly sure) and therefore should be soaked first. I also hear roasting at high temps destroys nutrients, but wonder to what degree. Lastly, nuts are often roasted in bad oils rather than dry roasted. I have been soaking walnuts and almonds in salt water for about twelve hours. Then I roast them in the oven at 170 degrees (my oven won’t go lower, and 150 degrees has been suggested) for 20-24 hours. It’s a pain and I wonder if I should continue.

  5. DR says

    Freshly roasted nuts & seeds are one of my favorite paleo treats.

    Toss them with some coconut oil and spice and I guarantee that even the most hardcore junk food addict will be gobbling them by the handful

  6. Chelsea says

    Unfortunately I’m allergic to nuts, but you mentioned seeds are also great. What seeds do you recommend (I see sunflower seeds are mentioned, but any other favorites)?

    @ Chelsea: I am a big fan of Sunflower seed butter but also use a lot of Pumpkin seeds to sprinkle on salads and use in trail mixes….Not really a seed but Pine Nuts are awesome as well…..

  7. BetterBody says

    I like nuts, just try not to eat too many. Some of the nuts mentioned are high in saturated fat, and salted nuts are no good for you (if it comes in a can chances are they are way too salty for regular consumption)

  8. Anastasiya says

    I love nuts! Unfortunately, lately I have not been eating enough of them and your article reminded me how important and nutritious they are.
    I love walnuts and cashews. Another of my favorites are pistachios (it’s such a pity that they are usually loaded with salt).
    A few years ago I tried raw foodism for a couple of months. Nuts were the main source of protein and healthy fats for me and I enjoyed eating as many of them as I could (no worries about calories :-)). I didn’t stick to the diet though, it was too restrictive.
    Thanks you for the article.

  9. butt exercises says

    Almonds are my favorite by far and I like to eat them raw. I actually think that they taste the best when eaten raw.

    But you do have to be careful and not eat too many… it’s not the saturated fat… its the calories. They are very high in calories and before you know it, you could have eaten a meals worth.

  10. Ecr234 says

    I was curious what you thought of Chia seeds? I have read some great things about these seeds!

    @ Ecr: Chia seeds are a tricky one, I have not heard too much about them but have come across them in health food stores. They are something I would say are worth trying to see if they give any benefits for you personally….

  11. Mia says

    Okay so I love walnuts and almonds!

    I have been eating them ever since I started my new diet/lifestyle. However they tell me I eat too many of them, which I agree . So how many almonds and walnuts should I eat a day?

    I need a number of almonds and walnuts a day…I’ve tried grams but I cant do it.

    If I eat almonds and walnuts each day, how much should I eat of each without being too much?

    @ Mia: Go by handfuls. Maybe two would be the limit for a day, usually with snacks.

  12. Jennifer says

    I like roasted almonds or pecans. What do I miss by eating roasted nuts instead of raw ones? would you please advice that shall I switch to raw almonds or walnuts. Thanks.

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