Nutrition and Labeling - Good Nut Bad Nut?




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Wannabeskinny
09-09-2009, 10:33 AM
Which kind of nuts do you prefer and why? Is eating one kind of nut better than others?

I like

Cashews
Peanuts
Walnuts
Pistachios
Sunflower seeds
Almonds (take em or leave em)

Which of these are actually good for me and which can I set aside?


pintobean
09-09-2009, 11:47 AM
They're all good for you (moderation is the key). It's very easy to overeat them :) . I measure and portion mine out before I sit down to eat. I eat cashews & almonds roasted/unsalted. As for the rest raw is fine for me. I prefer my peanuts in PB form.

princess jen
09-09-2009, 11:52 AM
i know that they are healthy for you, but i have a really hard time eating them because of how high in points they are. I love them all...


kaplods
09-09-2009, 11:53 AM
Different nuts have different nutrients and proportions of nutrients, so eating a variety is generally a better strategy than trying to determine which is better. Which are best for you, can only be determined in the context of your diet as a whole. Eating a variety is generally an easier strategy than analyzing your diet.

All the ones you've listed (and all you have not) are fine to include in a healthy diet, as long as you don't overdo. Most are high in fat, so it's important to keep servings small and account for the calories.

I like most seeds and nuts (offhand, I can't think of any I don't like). Macadamia nuts are my favorite (they're also one of the highest in calorie, so I don't eat them very often).

I generally buy nuts by the pound and keep them in the freezer (extends their shelf-life by preventing the fat from going rancid).

I follow an exchange plan, and try to include 1/4 to 1/2 an ounce every day (1 or 2 fat exchanges).

JulieJ08
09-09-2009, 12:22 PM
They're all healthy. Whatever we think we know about the strengths and weaknesses of each specific nut or seed, there's lots more we don't know yet. Think about 20 years ago, we all probably thought nutrition was pretty well figured out by then, but it wasn't. That's why variety is important - it keeps you from overeating things we don't know bad things about yet, and keeps you from setting aside things we don't know how wonderful they are yet.

Wannabeskinny
09-09-2009, 02:00 PM
I guess what I meant was that because they're very high in calories in addition to being good for you I don't want to include all of them in my diet if I don't have to. I like cashews the best, but if almonds are way more beneficial to my diet then I should try to focus on those more often. I eat about an ounce every day.

pintobean
09-09-2009, 02:42 PM
I guess what I meant was that because they're very high in calories in addition to being good for you I don't want to include all of them in my diet if I don't have to. I like cashews the best, but if almonds are way more beneficial to my diet then I should try to focus on those more often. I eat about an ounce every day.

Here's an article that might help you a bit - Which nut is the best? (https://www.health.harvard.edu/fhg/updates/update1004d.shtml)
My favorite are cashews as well. Currently, I have almonds, cashews and walnuts at home. I eat whatever I'm in the mood for that day.

Here's another article - Cashews vs. almonds (http://ignite1.lumenos.com/blogs/daily_health_blog/archive/2008/06/11/wednesday-s-label-review-cashews-vs-almonds.aspx)

kaplods
09-09-2009, 06:48 PM
Great links. I found this quote funny (with a grain of truth) "So far, no nut is the clear hands-down winner. But there is always the noncompetitive approach: mixed nuts. Unsalted, of course."

Not that I take it literally, because you can mix nuts without eating mixed nuts. There's no reason to include every variety of nut and seed in your daily diet, but that doesn't mean you have to leave any out (in the long term). Because they all have slightly different health benefits, it makes more sense (to me) to "mix it up," in the sense of eating a variety, not at one time, but over time.

If someone were to ask me which was the best protein source, or the best vegetable.... I would say the same thing - choose a variety (not necessarily every day, but over the course of weeks and months).

I like all seeds and nuts, and include a large number of them in my diet, but not on a daily, weekly, or even monthly basis. And although I like many varities, I don't have them all in my house, nor do I eat them all at the same time.

I have two strategies for buying seeds and nuts - Most often, I buy one pound bags that I put in the freezer. Usually I only keep two varieties, because eating them a half ounce a day means that two pound bags is a two month supply. Currently I have pecans, walnuts, and almonds in my freezer (exceeding my normal "two variety limit," because the almonds - two 12 oz bags - were a gift from my step-mother-in-law. Normally, when I finish one bag, I buy another, usually of a different variety.

Less commonly, if I find a good bulk bin source of nuts, I'll buy very small amounts of several varieties. When we were visiting my family a couple of months ago, we went to a nice natural foods grocery store with an excellent bulk bin selection. I bout about 2 ounces of maybe six varieties (probably drove the cashier nuts, no pun intended). I especially chose varieties that usually aren't available (at least locally) in one pound bags. The tamari flavored pumpkin seeds were awesome!