A Kick in the Nuts: The Truth About Your Healthiest Snack
You watch the number of burgers you chow and limit the sweets. But when’s the last time you thought about eating too many nuts? Likely never, especially with recent headlines touting how eating them prevents disease and extends life span. The problem: A serving has an average of 170 calories and 15 grams of fat. Factor that into the daily 2,700 calories and 82 grams active men should aim for, and you can see how it’s easy to overindulge. Here, what a serving actually looks like for five common nuts, and the other benefits they confer.
A good choice for anyone watching his cholesterol, pistachios are rich in phytosterols, compounds shown to help lower levels of LDL, or bad cholesterol. They’re also the nuts with the richest amount of lutein, which is linked to improving eyesight.
Number in a Serving: 49
Can’t sleep? A pile of walnuts could help. These nuts are a good source of melatonin, the hormone that regulates the sleep-wake cycle and encourages deeper, longer sleep. Recent research also links walnuts to better artery health, lower blood pressure, and reduced risk of heart disease.
Number in a Serving: 14 Halves
A perfect preworkout snack, cashews are high in muscle-fueling carbs. They’re an excellent source of copper, which helps generate energy from the carbs in your cells. They also give you more immunity-boosting zinc and iron than most other nuts do.
Number in a Serving: 18
You’ll feel full longer from eating almonds, which are loaded with hunger-curbing fiber as well as vitamins B and E. Weird fact: USDA food scientists recently found that some fat in almonds isn’t absorbed by the body, so the nuts actually have about 20 percent fewer calories than advertised.
Number in a Serving: 23
If you want protein, your best bet is the peanut (technically a legume), which packs seven grams a serving. It also provides more antioxidants than green tea or red wine. Go for roasted over raw. It turns out that roasting may increase the amount of certain antioxidants by up to 22 percent.
Number in a Serving: 28