Nuts are a great food to snack on. They are full of fiber, healthy fats like mono and polyunsaturated fats, and low in saturated fats. Nuts are full of high quality proteins and provide a great pick-me-up during those hungry times during the day. A handful of nuts can be great for satisfying your hunger and helping you to lose weight.
Here are 7 of my personal favorites:
1) Almonds Almonds are a little powerhouse of nutrition. With heart healthy mono and polyunsaturated fats, almonds have been recommended to help reduce total cholesterol and raise HDL cholesterol. Almonds are low in carbohydrates, but high in fiber. Almonds also have high levels of Vitamin E, which is great for the eyes and skin. Almonds also have phytosterols found in the almond skin, which have been shown helpful in reducing cholesterol and protecting the heart.
2) Cashews Cashews are a great nut for helping battle Heart Disease. Cashews do have a higher fat content than most nuts, but the fat found in cashews can be considered a healthy fat. Higher levels of mono and polyunsaturated fats make this a perfect snack for heart patients or people looking to watch their dietary fat intake. Cashews have adequate levels of magnesium and copper, which are minerals needed to maintain a healthy functioning body.
3) Peanuts Not only are peanuts loaded with fat-fighting fiber, but they are abundant in plenty of vitamins and minerals that have been shown to fight some diseases, including cardiovascular disease and some cancers. Peanuts have niacin, Co-enzyme Q10, and plenty of other amazing antioxidants, and Resveratrol, which has been linked to reduction in cardiovascular disease and some cancers.
4) Walnuts Walnuts are a great source of heart healthy fats, with high levels of polyunsaturated fats, which has been linked to lower cardiovascular risk factors. Considered by some to be the best nut for better heart health, walnuts have been shown to decrease damage from free radicals to certain cells. The reason for this: walnuts are chock full of antioxidants, which have been shown to reduce damage caused by oxidative stress.
5) Pecans At 10.4 grams of fiber, you are getting roughly 10% of your daily intake in 1 ounce of pecans. So if the fiber content blew your mind, wait for this: Pecans have an immense amount of the heart healthy fats that can help lower LDL cholesterol, and raise our good HDL cholesterol. Under 200 calories per serving, pecans provide a healthy supply of Vitamin A, potassium, calcium, and other trace minerals that our body needs for optimal functioning.
6) Macadamia Nuts Macadamia nuts, like other tree nuts, have been shown beneficial in helping to reduce total and LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, and are recommended in a heart healthy diet. Having a high amount of mon-unsaturated fats, these nuts can be an alternative to other nuts for helping reduce cardiovascular risk factors.
7) Pistachios Pistachios are another nutrient powerhouse that is low in carbohydrates with zero cholesterol. Full of healthy fats and low in saturated fats, this nut can provide you with a moderate amount of calories and nutrients from essential vitamins and minerals, namely potassum, calcium and Vitamin A. This nut provides plenty of nutrition.
Nuts can be a great source of heart healthy fats and plenty of high quality proteins and fiber. Eating nuts in moderation for a snack, in recipes, or as a topping, can add plenty of healthy calories to your meal, and provide you with essential nutrients that can help you lose weight, and keep your hunger at bay in between meals. Although nuts are naturally low in fat, low in carbohydrates, and sodium, the way the nuts are processed is just as important as the type. Make sure to buy natural, raw and unsalted brands.