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Nuts...which nuts for good fats?


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I'm trying to make sure I get enough of my good fats, through fish and nuts and seeds. But as I look at the nutritional content for my favorite nuts, they're all so high in fat period! Are all nut fats good fats, and you just make sure you eat them in moderation? I'd be afraid of eating too much, even w/just one serving (1 cup dry roasted almonds at 850+ calories...ouch!). So what should I really be aiming for?
Edited Jun 20 2007 06:26 by united2gether
Reason: moved to foods forum
18 Replies (last)
good question... I only really like peanuts and those are outrageous in calories... I dont eat fish so i am S.O.L on good fats.
Good question cause I'm eating a cup of mixed nuts right now :)

Ejoy
For heaven's sake a cup is not a serving! An ounce (28gr) is a serving. I actually parcel mine out to say 10 or 14 grams so I don't have to spend so many calories in one serving.

Walnuts are good. So are sunflower seeds, almonds, pistachios & peanuts.
#4  
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Well, I was just reading what the nutritional label said, which was a cup.
Almonds are one of the best nut sources for omega-3 fats, which are excellent for you. I believe peanuts are lower on the list, but still good for you.

I like almonds, walnuts and pecans.
Sorry. I wasn't attacking, just shocked at the idea of anyone eating a cup of nuts. I would imagine satiety would kick in somewhere around 1/2 of that. Plus the calories are, well, terrible to contemplate for someone only allowed 1200 a day!



#7  
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No apology necessary. I could eat a cup of roasted almonds easy! I love them! If they really are the best though, I'll just make sure to measure out the right amount...I so don't want to use up so many calories on something that only takes a couple of minutes to eat!
Each different kind of nut contains different components that are great for you, but all have some amount of "good fat"...most of them weight heavy on polyunsaturated fats, which is the best fat isomer you could eat. Brazils, macadamias, and pistachios are high in vitamin B1. Almonds are high in riboflavin (B2). Sunflower seed and peanuts are high in niacin (B3) and folate. All have a really high vitamin E content (being a fat-soluble vitamin, that is easy to imagine!). Not only that, you have a wide selection of minerals, such as copper, iron (great if you're a vegetarian), selenium, zinc and magnesium, to name a few. So, not only it is beneficial to think of the fats, think of the vitamins that come along with them! It's really a huge vitamin bargain for only 1 oz a day!
Personally I stick with beans such as chick, pinto, black, and kidney.  I've never been a huge fan of any nuts other than walnuts and peanuts.  I only like my almonds in chocolate. Plank makes a great point and for goodness sakes stay away from a cup of nuts.  Or go for it if you are burning 2000-3000 calories a day.


glttr, just so you know, roasting them alters the structure of the "good" fats, making them not good.  sad, i know.

i buy raw almonds in bulk, and when i'm too hungry to wait for a meal (you know, that dangerous time when dinner is already on the stove but you're so starved you're hoarking down potato chips while you wait) or when i'm just a little unsatisfied or peckish, i'll grab half a dozen almonds.  sometimes i do this twice a day, but i don't have any problem limiting it.

i heard recently that almonds trigger a neurotransmitter that makes you feel full, so doing this ~30 minutes before a meal can help you eat less!
when you say roasted nuts have altered structures of the "good fats" does that mean they are no longer good for you?  or just not QUITE as good as raw nuts?
they still have protein and stuff, but no - you can no longer count them as a source of good fats.  the heating process alters the chemical structure and can actually turn it into--i believe--a saturated fat.

same thing happens to olive oil if you cook it (gentle heat is okay).  all of the polyunsaturated fats are best raw.
i stay around 20 almonds during the day. i have 10 mixed into my oatmeal and then 10 around lunch. they're pretty expensive so i have to make them last as long as i can. then i add other fats. each almond is about 7 calories a piece.
pgeorgian...I do exactly the same thing!  We keep a small can of the the whole roasted, salted almonds on the counter and while I am cooking dinner, I often grab 6-8 of them and it definately triggers something cuz I no longer feel like I'm gonna faint from hunger!  The almonds were the best tip I have ever gotten from anybody!
i heard recently that almonds trigger a neurotransmitter that makes you feel full, so doing this ~30 minutes before a meal can help you eat less!

Perhaps, but they can also really mess with your digestion of that meal.

All nuts stay in the stomach at least 1.5 hours, up to 3 hours, before passing on to the small intestine.  This is likely the greatest reason why they are such great appetite-suppressants.

Their stay in the stomach isn't a bad thing on its own.  It's what you throw on top of that (say, your meal 30 minutes later) that can have unwanted, uncomfortable digestive effects.

Your mileage may vary on this, but I would never recommend anyone eat nuts as the precursor to a meal.  Some people may not suffer any ill effects, but many people will encounter gassiness and improper protein digestion (among other things) by putting nuts first.
I'm trying to make sure I get enough of my good fats, through fish and nuts and seeds. But as I look at the nutritional content for my favorite nuts, they're all so high in fat period! Are all nut fats good fats, and you just make sure you eat them in moderation? I'd be afraid of eating too much, even w/just one serving (1 cup dry roasted almonds at 850+ calories...ouch!). So what should I really be aiming for?

Well, definitely raw ones.  As mentioned above, heating nuts changes their fat content in various unhealthy ways.  (It does not change polyunsaturates to saturates, however!  It simply changes polyunsaturated fats to peroxidated fats, i.e. oil made rancid by the action of free radicals.)  (And while I'm on the subject, saturated fat by itself isn't "bad for you".)

Besides that, cooked and salted nuts mess with your brain's perception of satiety.  Try this as an experiment.  On one day, eat only raw nuts, as many as you care to eat.  On the next day, eat only cooked nuts, as many as you care to eat.  See what a difference the cooking makes in your instincts regarding when to stop!


With respect to the actual question of WHICH NUTS for the healthiest fats:  It depends on the rest of your diet!  It's the ratio of the different fats in your diet that matters most.

If you're anything like most americans, though, you'll want to get as many omega-3-dominant nuts as possible, as opposed to omega-6.  Omega-6 fats are already way overrepresented in the Standard American Diet (SAD), and are likely a huge contributing factor to system-wide inflammation.

In the omega-3 camp:

walnuts
pine nuts
macadamia nuts
flax seeds
hemp seeds

All other nuts and seeds are omega-6-dominant...

...with the exception of coconut which is its own special brand of awesome.  Coconuts have medium-chain saturated fats which are actually extremely good for you.
I eat trail mix a lot (the tropical kind with bananas and pineapples and stuff) I don't know if thats good for you but I've noticed its a lot better than candy.
P.S. And I eat a lot more trail mix than I've ever eaten candy and still don't gain as much as I would with the junk.
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