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Go nuts with your healthy snacks

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Sometimes you just need a little something to help calm that hunger between meals. However, uncontrolled snacking can kill your healthy eating regimen.

Instead of grabbing those high-sugar, high-fat processed snacks, grab a handful of healthy nuts to get you over that between meal hump.

Not all nuts are created equal. Each nut brings something a little different to the table. It's a good idea to make a mixed nut medley. That way you can take advantage of all the nutrients that nuts offer. Choose raw nuts, or if you prefer roasted nut, choose the dry roasted ones and avoid the extra fat from the oil.

There is a difference in the amount of calories that each nut provides, but from best to worst there is only about a 40 calorie per serving difference.

Almonds
Almonds Photo by: PublicDomainPictures via Pixabay

Almonds

Compared to other nuts, almonds deliver the most fiber and the most calcium.  They also have more vitamin E than other nuts. 

Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that has been found to help prevent several types of cancer.

One serving is about 23 nuts. (170 calories, 15 g fat, 6 g protein)

Brazil Nuts
Brazil Nuts Photo by: Mauro Cateb via Flickr

Brazil Nuts

One Brazil nut contains 100 percent of the daily requirement for selenium, which may help prevent certain cancers such as bone, prostate, and breast cancer.

However, having too much selenium can be harmful.  Studies have linked excessive amounts to type 2 diabetes.  It's best to limit yourself to one serving or less.  

Add a few Brazil nuts with other nuts to get a nice, healthy blend.

One serving is 5-6 nuts. (165 calories, 18 g fat, )

Cashews
Cashews Photo by: dbking via Flickr

Cashews

Cashews have been referred to as the "age fighter" because of the nutrients they provide.

Cashews are rich in iron, whick helps to deliver oxygen to your cells, and helps prevent anemia.  They also provide zinc which helps boost your immune system and protects your vision.  Finally, cashews have a fair amount of magnesium, which has been shown to help protect against age-related memory loss.

One ounce of cashews contains 25 percent of your daily magnesium requirements.

One serving is about 18 nuts. (165 calories, 13 g fat, 5 g protein)

Hazelnuts
Hazelnuts Photo by: ejaugsburg via Pixabay

Hazelnuts

Hazelnuts are high in monounsaturated fats (MUSF), which have been shown to help improve cardiovascular health.  MUSF also helps to manage type 2 diabetes.

They are also rich in Vitamin E, which along with helping to prevent cancer, also may help prevent cataracts and macular degeneration.

Serving size is 21 nuts (180 cal., 17 g fat)

Macadamia Nuts
Macadamia Nuts Forest & Kim Starr via Wikimedia Commons

Macadamia Nuts

Macadamia nuts are very calorie dense, and they are higher in fat than most other nuts, but it is monounsaturated fat, which is considered a "good fat."

Monounsaturated fat is believed to help lower LDL cholesterol, help control blood pressure, and help to lower triglycerides.

Serving size is 10 nuts (200 cal., 22 g fat)

Peanuts
Peanuts Photo by: Christian Schnettelker via www.manoftaste.de

Peanuts

Technically, peanuts aren't nuts at all. They are legumes (beans).  However, if it looks like a nut, and it tastes like a nut, we can treat it like a nut.

Peanuts are high in folate, which may help to protect against cognitive deline as we age.  There is also evidence to show that it helps to protect unborn babies from birth defects.  Studies have shown taht many vegetarians don't get enough folate inb their diets, so this would be a good source.

Peanuts are also another source for vitamin E.

One serving of peanuts is 28 unshelled nuts. (170 cal., 14 g fat, 7 g protein)

Walnuts
Walnuts Photo by: helee54 via Pixabay

Walnuts

Walnuts contain the most antioxidants of all of the nuts.  They also contain the healthy monounsaturated fats, as well as omega-3 fatty acids, which are very useful in fighting inflammation.

Walnuts are also a source of manganese, which has been shown to help fight PMS symptoms.

A serving is 14 nuts (185 cal., 18 g fat)

 

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