What’s So Great About Nuts?
Nuts have been under appreciated for far too long. Now, with the worldwide popularity of eating healthy fats, they are finally coming into their own. And it’s about time . . .
Nuts provide a nutritional powerhouse, and they do so at a very cost effective price. They are extremely nutrient dense being packed with healthy fats, not to mention all the vitamins, minerals and organic compounds that go along with them.
Nuts are a great a source of both polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats. These are the healthy fats that you want to get more of, especially when you following a keto lifestyle. They have been shown to decrease the risk of heart disease, bring down cholesterol levels and lower blood pressure levels.
Another major benefits of fats is that they are extremely satiating. That means that they’ll fill you up. Because they are so convenient (just grab a handful and much away), they make a great choice when you’re craving for something to put in your mouth.
One reason that nuts are so good at filling you up is that they provide a slow energy release that enables you to sustain your energy level between meals. This is in stark contrast to high carb sweet snack foods which give you a quick, cheap energy hit that’s followed by an energy crash.
The ability of nuts to fill us up makes them a great aid in weight loss. Numerous studies have shown that people who snack on nuts tend to eat fewer calories per day, leading to sustained weight loss over a period of time.
The healthy fats contained in nuts have also been shown to enhance the body’s ability to absorb vitamins. They also contain antioxidants that are responsible for fighting the damaging effects of free radicals on our bodies. These antioxidants, which are called polyphenols, have an enhancing effect on the immune system. They are even believed to play a part in slowing down aging. To keep yourself looking and feeling younger, you should get into the daily habit of eating Brazil nuts, walnuts, almonds and pistachios.
Another benefit of eating nuts is that they are a rich source of fiber. Fiber is essential to gut health, digestion, elimination of waste and weight loss.
Fiber is also a great way to keep yourself full. That’s because it adds bulk to your diet without adding extra calories. Not only will it help you to feel full sooner, but, because it takes longer than other foods to move through your system, it will keep you full longer. When fiber fills up your stomach, it stimulates receptors that send messages to your brain that tells you to stop eating.
The nuts with the highest fiber content are . . .
- Pine Nuts
How to Choose Your Nuts
While it’s true that all nuts are good for your health, some are better than others. In this section, we’ll provide you with a ranking of the 10 best nuts for general health. Then we’ll break it down into particular niches to allow you to determine exactly which nuts you need to buy.
#10 Healthiest Nut: Pistachios
Pistachio nuts have been shown in numerous clinical studies to have a positive impact upon blood glucose regulation. This makes them a valuable aid in the fight against weight gain. They are also a great source of energy.
- Fat: 18.7g
- Protein: 6.1g
- Net carbs: 6.2g
#9 Healthiest Nut: Pecans
A handful of pecan nuts daily will do wonders for your skin. That’s because they are a superior source of Vitamin E, which acts a natural protection for the skin against the sun’s rays. Pecans also provide a rich source of fiber.
- Fat: 20.8g
- Protein: 2.7g
- Net carbs: 1.2g
#8 Healthiest Nut: Peanuts
Peanuts are probably the most consumed nut on the planet. They are also a good weight loss aid, thanks to their ability to fill a person up. But they are also good for the skin, helping to prevent wrinkles. Just like pistachios, they control blood sugar levels, thanks to their high concentration of manganese.
Make sure that the peanuts that you consume are not covered in salt, chocolate or any other substance that’s not good for you.
- Fat: 17.8g
- Protein: 7.3g
- Net carbs: 2.2g
#7 Healthiest Nut: Hazelnuts
The prime benefit of hazelnuts over others is that they have a high concentrations of the B Vitamins. As a result, they are excellent health boosters for the digestive and nervous systems.
- Fat: 17.0g
- Protein: 4.1g
- Net carbs: 2.1g
#6 Healthiest Nut: Chestnuts
Chestnuts are a bit of an anomaly when it comes to nuts. That’s because, unlike all the others, they are actually low in fat content. However, they contain a lot of starch, which makes them useful in healing and repairing of the body, especially with regard to damaged blood vessels and capillaries.
- Fat: 1.6g
- Protein: 1.4g
- Net carbs: 11.3g
#5 Healthiest Nut: Cashew Nuts
The majority of people that I know, myself included, would go for cashews above any other on the basis of taste. Turns out they are also good for you. One reason is that they are very high in monounsaturated fats. That makes them good for weight loss and for your cardiovascular health. Cashews are also high in selenium, zinc and copper.
The great taste of cashews could also be its biggest danger point. It is very easy to eat too many of them. And with nine calories in every gram of fat (compared with four calories for every gram of proteins and carbs), that daily caloric count can soon get to dangerous levels. So, make sure that you strictly ration your cashew supply.
- Fat: 17.5g
- Protein: 7.3g
- Net carbs: 10.1g
#4 Healthiest Nut: Brazil Nuts
Brazil nuts have undergone some exciting research regarding their cancer fighting ability. The key to this power lies in their rich concentration of selenium. This mineral has the added benefit of enhancing protein digestion as well as improving the health of the prostate.
Brazil nuts are also high in zinc and magnesium, which are both proven immunity enhancers.
- Fat: 18.6g
- Protein: 4g
- Net carbs: 1.3g
#3 Healthiest Nut: Almonds
Almonds are the go-to nut for cerebral enhancement. That’s because they have been shown to regulate the production of the hormone dopamine. They also provide a mental energy boost.
- Fat: 14.9g
- Protein: 7.7g
- Net carbs: 3.0g
#2 Healthiest Nut: Walnuts
Walnuts are a superior source of omega-3 fatty acids. The omega-3 fatty acid family includes alpha-linolenic acid
(LNA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Omega-3 fatty acids are converted into hormonelike substances called “eicosanoids,” which can have a profound influence on your health.
Omega 3 fatty acids have been shown to assist in fat loss in three ways; increasing satiety, enhancing body fat burning, improving insulin sensitivity. Let’s consider each of these areas.
They help you to feel fuller for longer. A 2010 study tested the satiety levels after meals that included healthy fats (as condiments) and those that did not. Neural testing of satiety levels showed that those who consumed healthy fats were fuller for longer. In addition, the total number of calories consumed per meal was lower.
Researchers believe the enhanced satiety levels are due to the balancing of blood sugar levels that omega-3 fatty acids bring about.
They help burn body fat. A 2013 study focused on the fat reducing ability of the Hass Avocado, which is a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids. Avocado was the only difference between the diets of two groups over a 12-week period. Both groups exercised moderately under supervision. At the end of the study, the avocado group had lost an average of 4.3 pounds, compared to the control group at just 1.4 pounds.
They improve insulin sensitivity while speeding up the metabolism. A 2009 randomized, controlled study tested the effects of adding walnuts and fatty fish to the diet of obese men. At the end of a 12-week trial, the group with the added healthy fats exhibited higher metabolic rates in the 12 hours after taking in the fats. Their recorded insulin levels also dropped after each meal. The ability of omega-3 fatty acids to reduce insulin levels, increases the body’s ability to convert fat into energy.
Omega-3 fatty acids have also been shown to have a cognitive effect to boost brain output.
Walnuts have one of the highest concentrations of omega-3 of any nuts.
- Fat: 18.3g
- Protein: 4.3g
- Net carbs: 1.7g
#1 Healthiest Nut: Macadamia Nuts
Macadamia nuts are a powerful aid in the quest to lose body fat. They, too, have a proven ability to bring down blood glucose levels. A meta-analysis study, which was published in PLOS ONE magazine, analysed 450 participants over eleven studies which focused on the effect of macadamia nuts on blood glucose levels. The analysis showed that people who consumed on average 56 grams of macadamia nuts each day had considerably lower levels of blood sugar.
One reason that macadamia nuts had such a beneficial effect on high blood sugar levels is that it contains a lot of monounsaturated fats. When it comes to macadamias, they contain omega-7 palmitoleic acid. This fatty acid is known to enhance insulin sensitivity. It does this by reducing inflammation and preventing the breakdown of pancreatic beta cells, which are responsible for the production of insulin.
Macadamia nuts help to lose weight in other ways, too. They key to this ability is their high concentrations of oleic acid. A study that was recently published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry suggested that omega-9 fatty acids (oleic acid) had the ability to speed up the production of certain genes which metabolized fat for energy.
Palmitoleic acid is another compound found in macadamia nuts which appears to help speed up the fat burning process. On top of all of this, macadamia nuts are satiating, so that they reduce your hunger levels. That makes them a great healthy snack choice when you’re feeling a little peckish.
Some 80 percent of the fats contained in macadamia nuts are of the monounsaturated variety, making them extremely healthy.
- Fat: 21.2g
- Protein: 2.2g
- Net carbs: 1.6g
Nuts & Keto
For people who are following the ketogenic lifestyle, nuts can be their best friend. They are a food that takes absolutely no preparation at all. You just grab a handful and stuff them into your mouth. That handful of nuts will provide you with a generous helping of healthy fats, very few carbs and a few grams of protein. When you are attempting to get 70-80 percent of your carb count from fats, that is a big advantage.
As we’ve identified above, there are a couple of nuts that are way too high in carbs for anyone who is on the keto diet. These need to be avoided. They are . . .
Every other player in the nut universe is open to people who are on a keto diet. There are, however, some that make more sense than others, based on their nutritional profile. Let’s check the five best nuts for keto . . .
We’ve already considered some powerful clinical evidence that establish that macadamia nuts are great for weight loss. Here’s one more reason to make them part of your daily nutritional profile – they contain palmitoleic acid. This acid has been clinically proven to boost the metabolism to help you burn more calories more often. Macadamias are also one of the most satiating nuts, so you’ll be less likely to snack between meals.
82.6 percent of the fats in macadamia nuts are the monounsaturated variety. This is great news for your heart health. Macadamias are also packed with digestion enhancing fiber.
We learned earlier that walnuts are a great source of omega-3 fatty acids. That makes them excellent for anyone looking to lose body fat. Like macadamia nuts, walnuts have also been shown to help speed up the metabolism, thanks to their polyunsaturated fats. Like macadamia nuts, they are also very satiating.
Pecans are very high in healthy fats and extremely low in carbs, making them the prefect keto food. They also go well with most baked goods – just them to the recipe to up the healthy fat content.
The high selenium count in Brazil nuts will not only make you smarter; it will also help to increase your testosterone production to help you build muscle and get stronger.
Hazelnuts are another nut that is a keto star in terms of its fat content. It contains a whopping 17 grams of fat with only 2 grams of carbs per ounce. They have been shown to bring down LDL cholesterol levels – that’s the bad type.
Vegan Nut Eating Guide
Of course, vegans can eat any types of nut. But some are better than others. The big need for vegans is protein and omega-3 fatty acids. When you don’t get to eat meat and fish, you must get them from other sources. The best nuts to provide them are . . .
Almonds are among the highest protein content nuts, with 6 grams per serving (a handful). They contain plenty of Vitamin E also.
Almost as high as almonds, cashews have 5 grams of protein in every serving. They also have plenty of magnesium as well as phosphorous for bone strength. Just remember that cashews are high in carbs, which makes them questionable if you are a vegan on keto.
The benefits of macadamia nuts for vegans lies in the fact that they are packed with essential vitamins and minerals. On top of that they are antioxidant dense.
Hazelnuts give vegans a valuable source of such important compounds as calcium, manganese and potassium. They are also a very good source of fiber.
Peanuts deliver a quality source of protein for vegans, along with potassium and fiber.
Bodybuilding Nut Guide
Bodybuilders have the goal of increasing their muscle mass while, at the same, removing all the fat from their body. That requires protein and healthy fats. It also requires eating more frequently than other people. That’s why they are constantly on the lookout for nutrient dense foods that deliver those two macronutrients. That’s why nuts are so popular among iron pumpers. Here are five of the best for bodybuilders . . .
An ounce of almonds provides you with 6 grams of muscle building protein, along with Vitamin E for potent antioxidant effects.
- Cashew Nuts
Cashew nuts are a great choice if you’re trying to bulk up. They provide you with a lot of high-quality calories, including plenty of healthy fats and protein.
- Brazil Nuts
Brazil Nuts are packed with selenium, which have a powerful testosterone boosting effect on the body. Brazil nuts are, in fact, so selenium rich that you only need to eat two of them each day to meet your daily requirements.
Pistachios are low calorie dense snack that is great when you’re dieting for competition. They contain plenty of healthy fats, antioxidants and protein to reserve mass as you get ripped.
Walnuts are high in omega-3 fatty acids which help bodybuilders to gain muscle, lose fat and prevent training injuries by reducing joint stiffness, improving blood flow and improving workout recovery.
Nut Pairing Guide
Nuts run the gamut when it comes to texture and taste. It’s no surprise, then, that certain nuts pair better with some foods and drinks than with others. Here is a handy guide to help you get it right.
Almonds have a mild flavor with a firm texture. They are very crunch when toasted.
Savory Almond Pairings:
- Mild cheeses
- Green vegetables
- Green salads
- White fish
Sweet Almond Pairings:
- Tree Fruit
- Raisins & Currants
Brazil nuts have a mild flavor and produce a meaty, soft crunch when toasted.
Savory Brazil Nut Pairings:
- Multi grain breads
Sweet Brazil Nut Pairings:
- Caramel & Toffee flavors
- Milk & Dark Chocolate
Cashew nuts have a mellow flavor, a soft texture and a buttery, medium crunch when toasted.
Savory Cashew Nut Pairings
- Sweet & Sour Asian Sauces
- Soy Sauce
- Green Leafy Vegetables
Sweet Cashew Nut Pairings
- Cream Cheese
Hazelnuts have a robust flavor, a hard crunch and a nutty aroma when toasted.
Savory Hazelnut Pairings
- Green Vegetables
- Red Meats
- Whole Grain Breads
Sweet Hazelnut Pairings
- Dark Chocolate
Macadamia nuts have a mild taste, a rich buttery texture and a soft crunch when toasted.
Savory Macadamia Nut Pairings
- White Fish
- Butter Sauces
Sweet Macadamia Nut Pairings
- Tropical Fruit
Peanuts have a robust taste and aroma, a buttery texture and a hard crunch when toasted.
Savory Peanut Pairings
- Soy Sauce
- Green Vegetables
Sweet Peanut Pairings
- Chocolate (milk and dark)
Pecans produce a soft, meaty chew, a light crunch with a nutty aroma and flavor when toasted.
Savory Pecan Pairings
- Sweet Potatoes
- Mild Cheddar Cheese
- Green salads
Sweet Pecan Pairings
Walnuts produce a soft chew, which is slightly bitter when eaten raw. When toasted, it produces a buttery crunch.
Savory Walnut Pairings
- Red Meats
Sweet Walnut Pairings
- Flaky Pastries
Nuts and Meat for Breakfast
Starting your day the meat and nuts way simply makes sense if you are interested in a lean, muscular physique. With just two ingredients, this is an easy regimen to stick to. Feel free to stick with standard ground beef to make it even easier. Of course, for variety, you can also use such meats as pork medallions, turkey bacon, ground turkey, chicken breast, venison and buffalo.
The best types of nuts are cashews, almonds, walnuts and hazelnuts.
Meat and Nuts Breakfast Plan
The plan is simply to consume a lean meat, along with a handful of nuts as your first meal of the day. The size of your meat portion should be between 200-300 grams.
When it comes to nuts, all you need is a handful (75 grams) with your meat breakfast. Take another handful further on in the day.
People often think that food allergies are solely caused because a person has an inherent aversion to a certain food type. However, another cause of allergies is the repetitive consumption of the same foods, especially proteins such as beef, eggs, whey protein and tuna fish.
By varying your protein sources, you will greatly reduce your likelihood of being affected by food allergies. An added benefit is that you’ll be able to try out new and different types of lean protein. Buffalo meat, for example, will give you almost 20 grams of protein per 100 gram portion, compared with 7.8 grams for ground beef.
Meat and Nuts Breakfast Recipes
Yak Meat and Nuts
- Pat of goat butter
- Handful of cashew and macadamia nuts to taste
- 300 gr ground yak meat
- Celtic sea salt
Heat a frying pan over medium heat, then add the butter. When the butter has melted, add the nuts. When the nuts have browned, add the meat and cook thoroughly. Add celtic salt to taste.
Diced Steak, Eggs and Walnuts
- Pre cooked diced steak (70 gr)
- 2 eggs
- Walnuts (30 gr)
- Diced onion, garlic and broccoli
- Garlic powder
- Black Pepper
Fry the onion and garlic for a minute in a frying pan. Add the steak, cooking for 2-3 minutes. Whisk the eggs and add to the frying pan. When the eggs begin to set, add the other ingredients and scramble the mixture.
Nut Allergy Substitutes
|Swap This||For This|
|Peanuts||Sunflower Seeds Pumpkin Seeds Hummus|
|Peanut Butter||Soy Nut Butter|
|Walnuts||Raisins Dried Cranberries|
|Almonds||Roasted Soy Beans Chickpeas|