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The Nutty Guide: How to Enjoy the Benefits of Nuts without Overindulging

40+ Lucent Health Blog Nuts Title

Nuts About Nuts: A Guide to Eating Nuts Wisely

The Nutty Guide: Making the Most of Nuts in Your Diet!

Nuts are very popular snack choice because they are whole foods with full of health benefits. However, we tend to eat too much and consume other ingredients together.

Nuts are a delightful paradox in the world of nutrition: small in size but massive in benefits. Loaded with essential fats, proteins, vitamins, and minerals, they're the superheroes of snacks. However, their high-calorie content can make them a tricky treat to manage. So, how do you harness the power of nuts without going overboard? Let's crack this nut open and find out the nutty guide.


The Nutty Guide: The Nutritional Might of Nuts


1. Good Fats Galore:

Nuts are rich in monounsaturated fatty acids and ALA omega-3, which are champions for heart health. HOWEVER, Seeds such flaxseeds and chia seeds contain more Omega-3 per serving. As we know, fatty fish is the great source of omega-3. So, we don’t have to rely on nuts for omega-3 specially, it’s a form of ALA.

2. Nutrient Powerhouses:

Besides good fats, fibers, protein, they're packed with Vitamin E, Magnesium, and Selenium. 3 pieces of Brazil nuts provide almost 1000% of daily value of Selenium. Scary part is that it’s easily go beyond the upper limit.  

3. Antioxidant Abundance:

Nuts, especially walnuts and almonds, combat oxidative stress and bad cholesterol. I have no argument about this. Yes, it’s a perfect environment to absorb Vitamin E with fats content.

4. Weight Loss Warriors:

Almonds and pistachios are great for weight loss. Interestingly, your body absorbs fewer calories from these nuts than what's listed on the label as long as we don’t grab another bite of nuts. Almonds promote weight loss as well as pistachios. A 1 serving (1oz) has 160-170 calories, your body only absorbs about 129 of these calories. General, your body absorbs 21% and 5% fewer calories from walnuts and pistachios respectively.


5. Cholesterol and Triglyceride Tamers:

Pistachios lower triglycerides, while almonds and hazelnuts improve your cholesterol profile. Pistachios contain anthocyanins which is good for cognitive health as well.

6. Diabetes and Metabolic Syndrome Defense:

Nuts can lower blood pressure and oxidative stress in people with these conditions.

7. Inflammation Fighters:

Regular nut eaters see a significant reduction in inflammatory markers.

8. Fiber-Rich Friends:

Nuts are great for gut health and can help in weight management due to their fiber content.


The Nutty Guide: Choosing Your Nuts


1. High in Omega-3 Fats

Walnuts: A handful meets your daily omega-3 needs.

Cashews: Offer a good amount of omega-3s despite their saturated fat content.


2. High in Fiber

Almonds: A fiber superstar with 3.5 grams per ounce.

Pistachios: Fun to eat and fiber-rich.


3. High in Specific Nutrients

Brazil Nuts: Just one or two can meet your daily selenium needs.

Macadamia Nuts: High in thiamine for brain health.

Hazelnuts: Loaded with plant compounds.


4. Nut Butters: A Spreadable Delight


Almond Butter: Packed with protein, fiber, and vitamin E.

Peanut Butter: Protein-rich, but beware of added sugars in commercial brands.

Cashew Butter: A good source of magnesium and iron.


The Nutty Guide: Tips for Nibbling Nuts


1. Moderation Matters:

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Stick to a small handful (about an ounce). Be aware that nuts are high in calories and addictive. If you are grabbing roasted buts, check the ingredients like sea salt, palm-oils. 1 serving is 1 once, that is a size of handcup. Once you grab the nuts, that's the daily serving. Don't you want to spare the daily caloric intake for other foods?

2. Mix It Up:

Enjoy a variety of nuts for diverse nutritional benefits. All nuts have different properties, some are high in Vitamin E, and some are high in Zinc. Variety is a key.

3. Keep It Clean:

Opt for raw or dry-roasted nuts without added nasties. You can roast the nuts at home below 285 degrees to prevent acrylamide*. Also, you can avoid unwanted (unhealthy) ingredients to the nuts.

*Acrylamide forms in some foods during high temperature cooking processes, such as frying, roasting, and baking, when sugars and an amino acid called asparagine react with each other. This reaction is known as the Maillard reaction, which contributes to the aroma, taste, and color of cooked foods. Acrylamide is found in a variety of foods, including French fries, potato chips, crackers, breaad, cookies, breakfast cereals, canned black olives, prune juice and coffee.

4. Smart Pairing:

Combine nuts with fruits or yogurt for a balanced snack. Nuts are high in fats. Eating with fat-soluble vitamin rich foods enhance the body to absorb more nutrients. (Fat-souble vitamins are Vitamin A, D, E, and K).

5. Creative Toppings:

Sprinkle nuts on salads, oatmeal, or stir-fries.


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The Nutty Guide: Nutty Nutrition Facts

🥜 Almonds: 

High in Vitamin E (45% of the DV), Magnesium (19% of the DV), Manganese (27% of the DV), and Antioxidant.

Studies: 2 oz daily – significantly lower the LDL, Inflammatory markers, and hemoglobin A1c, a marker of blood sugar control), gut health

 (23pcs/oz, 164kcal, Net Carb: 3.5g, Fats: 14g, Protein: 6g)

🥜 Pistachios:

High in Lutein, Vitamin B1(Thiamine)  (21% of the DV), Vitamin B6 (28% of the DV), Phosphorus (11% of the DV),

Contain Carotenoids Lutein and Zeaxanthin, Anthocyanins, Flavonoids, Proanthocyanidins: good for eye health and brain health as well as anti-inflammatory properties. Regulate blood pressure and strengthen immune system and help metabolism.

(49pcs/oz, 159kcal, Net Carb: 4.7g, Fats: 13g, Protein: 6g) ⁠

40+ Lucent Health Blog Nuts Nutrition Table

🥜 Walnuts:

Rich in Omega-3 (ALA) and Copper, which the body needs to produce enzymes for energy production and neurotransmitter synthesis. Also, Copper regulates immune function and blood vessel development. Significantly high in Omega-3 (ALA). Lower the LDL and triglycerides. 1-2 oz of walnuts daily improve brain function and prevent type 2 diabetes.

(14half pcs/oz, 183kcal, Net Carb: 2g, Fats: 19g, Protein: 4g) ⁠

🥜 Cashews:

Contains Vitamin K (8% of the DV), Magnesium (20% of the DV), Manganese (20% of the DV) , Essential for bone health.

(18 pieces/oz, 157kcal, Net Carb: 8g, Fats: 12g, Protein: 2g)


🥜 Pecans:

Antioxidant properties and phytosterols. Contain Zinc (13% of the DV) for immune function, wound healing, DNA synthesis, growth, and development. Manganese (48% of the DV), low in carb.

(19 half pcs/oz, 196kcal, Net Carb:1g, Fats: 20g, Protein 2g) ⁠

🥜 Macadamia:

High in Vitamin B1 (28%), Manganese (51% of the DV), Copper (24% of the DV), high in healthy fats (Monounsaturated Fat 17g) and low in carb. It lowers LDL, Triglyceride, blood sugar levels.

(10pcs/oz, 204kcal, Net Carb: 1.5g, Fats: 22g, Protein: 2g)

🥜 Brazil Nuts:

High in Selenium (989% of the DV), Vitamin E (11% of the DV), Magnesium (25% of the DV), regulate blood sugar and blood pressure, nerve function, and energy production.

*Selenium, a nutrient your body needs for thyroid hormone production and DNA synthesis. The upper limit of Selenium is 400mcg. 1 piece of Brazil nut contains 68-91mcg of Selenium. Consider the RDA of Selenium for adult is 55mcg, which is a half of a piece of Brazil nut.

Brazil Nuts have anti-inflammatory properties and anti-oxidant effects, but too much Selenium contents is safety question.

(5pcs/oz, 187kcal, Net Carb: 1g, Fats: 19g, Protein: 7g)


🥜 Hazelnuts:

Loaded with beneficial plant compounds, such as Gallic acid, Epicatechin, Caffeic acid, Quercetin, which are known for anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, anti-cancer, antihistamine properties. Super high in Manganese (76% of the DV)

(21pcs/oz, 1787kcal, Net Carb: 2g, Fats: 17g, Protein: 2g)


The Very Nutty Guide:

1.Gallic Acid: A type of phenolic acid found in various plants, nuts, tea leaves, and other foods. Benefits: It's renowned for its antioxidant properties, which means it helps protect cells from oxidative damage. Additionally, gallic acid has been studied for its potential anti-inflammatory, anti-carcinogenic, and antimicrobial effects.

2. Epicatechin: A flavonoid, a category of plant-based compounds known for their antioxidant activity. Benefits: This compound is particularly noteworthy for its role in heart health. It helps to improve blood flow and has been associated with reduced risk of cardiovascular disease. Epicatechin is also believed to have neuroprotective properties and may enhance brain health.

3. Caffeic Acid: Another type of phenolic acid and is not directly related to caffeine, despite the similarity in name. Benefits: Its main claim to fame is its strong antioxidant capacity, potentially reducing the risk of chronic diseases and aging effects. It's also known for anti-inflammatory and anticancer properties. Other sources are thyme and sage, coffee, etc.

4. Quercetin: A flavonoid that is widely distributed in the plant kingdom. Benefits: It has gained attention for its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antihistamine properties. Quercetin is beneficial in combating allergies, reducing the risk of heart disease, and it may have protective effects against certain types of cancer. It's also studied for its potential to improve endurance and athletic performance. Quercetin is found in high amounts in onions, apples, grapes, berries, broccoli, and nuts.


🥜 Peanuts:

Oops, technically peanuts are not nuts but belong to legume. Peanuts are rich source of plant protein, Polyphenol antioxidants, high in folate, low in GI, and contain Resveratrol.

(30pcs/oz, 166kcal, Net Carb: 2g, Fats: 14g, Protein: 7g)


In conclusion, nuts are a nutrient-dense, tasty option for those looking to enrich their diet. Whether you're grabbing a handful of almonds for a quick snack, spreading some peanut butter on your morning toast, or sprinkling chopped walnuts on your salad, these tiny treasures offer a big nutritional punch. Just remember, moderation is key – enjoy your nuts wisely! 🥜🌰👍

Health Coach Meg

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