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University of Nebraska–Lincoln

UNL Extension in Lancaster County

FOOD: Nutrition, Safety & Cooking

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Nuts: Quick and Healthy Nibbles

Alice Henneman, MS, RD, UNL Extension in Lancaster County
(updated slightly, March 2007)

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nut and nutcracker

Need a quick snack? Nibble on a nut! A handful a day can help keep you healthy!

Though nuts are a higher-fat food, it is mostly heart-healthy unsaturated fat and may help lower low-density lipoproteins (LDL or "bad" cholesterol). As long as you control total calories, eating a handful of nuts daily may help prevent weight gain and possibly promote weight loss.

The fat, protein and fiber in nuts help you feel full longer, so you may eat less during the day. By helping induce a feeling of satiety, nuts may help people feel less deprived and not like they're "dieting." Just limit your portion.

How many nuts are in a handful? Check the chart below. Several links to Websites giving more information about specific nuts are given at the end of the article. For more information about how nuts and seeds fit into the MyPyramid guidelines, visit mypyramid.gov/pyramid/meat.html

Nutrients in 1 Handful or Ounce (28 grams)
of Shelled Tree Nuts and Peanuts
(1)

Nut
Nuts
per 1 oz./
28 grams
Calories
Protein
Fat
Total
Sat

Mono

Poly
Almonds
24

160

6

14

1

9

3

Brazil nuts
6 - 8

190

4

19

5

7

7

Cashews
18

160

4

13

3

8

2

Hazelnuts
20

180

4

17

1.5

13

2

Macadamias
10 - 12

200

2

22

3

17

0.5

Peanuts
28

170

7

14

2

7

5

Pecans
20
halves

200

3

20

2

12

6

Pine nuts (2)
(pignolias)
157

190

4

20

2

6

10

Pistachios
49

160

6

13

1.5

7

4

Walnuts
14 halves

190

4

18

1.5

2.5

13

Source: Adapted from the International Tree Nut Council Research and Education Foundation publications, Nutrients in 1 Ounce of Tree Nuts and Peanuts, September 2004 <www.nuthealth.org/nutrition/nutrient1oz.html>

  1. All of the nuts are unsalted; almonds, Brazil nuts, hazelnuts, pecans, pine nuts and walnuts are unroasted; cashews, macadamias, peanuts and pistachios are dry roasted.
  2. Pignolia variety.


Feel Like a Nut?

It's easy to nibble on nuts. Here are two quick ideas plus links to lots more. Store shelled or unshelled nuts in an airtight container in your refrigerator for up to 6 months or for a year in your freezer for best quality.

1. It's in the Bag!

You don't have to fire up the stove or get out your cookbook to enjoy nuts. Your handful of nuts may be enjoyed -- simply -- out of hand.

Divide a container of nuts into small snack bags for easy snacking at home, office or on the road. Keep in the refrigerator until you're ready to enjoy! A snack of nuts may help you resist that gooey sweet roll in the breakroom at work.

2. Just a Sprinkle

Sprinkle nuts into these foods:
  • Salads
  • Yogurt
  • Cereal
  • Pasta
  • Cooked vegetables
  • Muffins and pancakes (toss a handful or two into your batter)

For added flavor, try toasting nuts. Learn how at http://lancaster.unl.edu/food/ciq-toasted-nuts-seeds.shtml

Links to more information about nuts



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