Did you know that it’s NOT crazy to eat nuts if you are calorie counting and watching your weight?! Nuts are a type of fat so they are a bit more calorie dense indeed, however there are a lot of nutritional benefits that come along with their calories. And, if you are savvy with portion control and serving suggestions, they definitely can have a place in your daily diet.
So yes, nuts are categorized as a fat as macronutrients go, (the other two being carbs and protein) but they contain “good” fat, the unsaturated kind, which plays a protective role in the prevention of heat disease. Nuts also contain protein, fiber and a variety of vitamins and minerals, such as Vitamin B6, Vitamin E, zinc, potassium, phosphorous, copper and magnesium, along with phytochemicals- plant compounds which show promising results in chronic disease prevention research.
Hearing all this good stuff about nuts makes it quite tempting to sit down with a bag of them to munch on or crack open the peanut butter jar and dig in with a spoon-but not so fast…portion control is important!! A reasonable serving is one ounce of nuts, which is about ¼ cup and is equivalent to 24 almonds, 18 cashews or 49 pistachios. Think you might have trouble keeping to these numbers? Try these portion control and serving tips:
Don’t eat nuts straight from the container.
Make your own snack packs instead. Throw 10 nuts (or 20 pistachios) in a bag for 100 calories or 20 (40 pistachios) on a bag for 200. Or, buy just a few from the bulk bins at your local grocery or health food store. There are prepackaged portion control packs made by a few companies available in the grocery store too, but they will cost a bit more than buying in bulk and just portioning yourself.
Serve nuts with/on lower calorie foods to keep the calorie count down.
Spread a tablespoon of nut butter on a small rice cake, apple wedge or celery stalk or sprinkle them on salads or cooked veggies (think: almonds on green beans, cashews on broccoli).
In addition, there are a variety of recipes incorporating nuts in a healthy way on my blog, eNourishment. Enjoy!
Are you nuts for nuts?
We get by with a little help from our friends - like Marie - one of our favorite blog authors who champions Calorie Count's philosophy of moderation. Thank you, Marie!