To Your Health: Looking for a healthy snack? Go nuts!

Nuts have a bad rap.

And well, that’s not too surprising. We all know nuts are high in fat. Because of that, they’re also fairly calorie-dense.

But here’s the good news: Nuts – in moderation – are good for you. In fact, some experts recommend eating a handful of nuts a day.

almonds1So why go nuts? Simple: They’re chock full of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants. They’re also a great source of protein.

And new studies link nuts to all sorts of health benefits. Eating nuts might reduce your risk of heart disease and certain types of cancer.

Nuts might also help you live longer. A 2013 study found people who ate nuts daily were 20 percent less likely to die over a 30-year period than those who didn’t eat them.

Now, researchers haven’t yet pinned down what it is about nuts that makes them so good for us. But it’s worth noting that some nuts are probably healthier than others. Unsalted walnuts or almonds, for example, are probably your best bet. Peanuts (technically not a nut) are still healthy, but don’t pack as much nutritional punch.

Can’t decide which nut you like best? That’s not a problem. A 2004 study found mixed nuts provide the best variety of nutrients and antioxidants per serving.

And just to make it clear: If the nuts you’re eating are covered in sugar or salt, then you’re cancelling out all the benefits of eating them.

The same thing holds true when you’re talking about nut butters. Steer clear of the varieties that have added sugars and salt, and go for the real stuff.

One comment

  • Great tip – thanks for sharing.

    In addition to the reasons you give for choosing nuts as a snack, I recently read that cashews can help to make us feel happier and help with depression.

    Apparently cashews contain nutrients that our brains can make into serotonin, which is often though of as the “happy chemical”.

    Your article has reminded me that I need to get some cashews and keep them handy for when I get hungry.

    Like

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