Nuts are a very popular food. They’re tasty, convenient, and can be enjoyed on all kinds of diets — from keto to vegan. Despite being high in fat, they have a number of impressive health and weight benefits.
What Are Nuts?
Nuts are seed kernels that are widely used in cooking or eaten on their own as a snack. They’re high in fat and calories. They contain a hard, inedible outer shell that usually needs to be cracked open to release the kernel inside. Fortunately, you can buy most nuts from the store already shelled and ready to eat.
Here are some of the most commonly consumed nuts:
Almonds | Brazil nuts | Cashews | Hazelnuts | Macadamia nuts | Pecans | Pine nuts | Pistachios | Walnuts
Though peanuts are technically legumes like peas and beans, they’re usually referred to as nuts due to their similar nutrition profile and characteristics.
Nuts are edible, high-fat seed kernels enclosed by a hard shell. They’re widely eaten as a snack food or used in cooking.
A Great Source of Many Nutrients
Nuts are high in fat, low in carbs, and a great source of several nutrients, including vitamin E, magnesium, and selenium.
Loaded With Antioxidants
Nuts contain antioxidants known as polyphenols, which may protect your cells and “bad” LDL cholesterol from damage caused by free radicals.
May Aid Weight Loss
Nuts have been shown to promote weight loss rather than contribute to weight gain. Several studies indicate that your body doesn’t absorb all of the calories in nuts.
May Lower Cholesterol and Triglycerides
Nuts may help lower total and “bad” LDL cholesterol and triglycerides while boosting levels of “good” HDL cholesterol.
Beneficial for Type 2 Diabetes and Metabolic Syndrome
Several studies have shown that blood sugar, blood pressure, and other health markers improve when people with type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome include nuts in their diet.
May Reduce Inflammation
Research suggests that nuts may reduce inflammation, especially in people with diabetes, kidney disease, and other serious health conditions.
High in Beneficial Fiber
Nuts may significantly lower your risk of heart attack and stroke. Eating nuts increases “bad” LDL particle size, raises “good” HDL cholesterol, improves artery function, and has various other benefits.
Delicious, Versatile, and Widely Available
Nuts can be enjoyed whole, as nut butters, or chopped up on food. They’re healthiest raw or toasted. Store them at room temperature or put them in the fridge or freezer to keep them fresher for longer.
The Bottom Line
Eating nuts on a regular basis may improve your health in many ways, such as by reducing diabetes and heart disease risk, as well as cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
This nutritious high-fiber treat may even aid weight loss — despite its high calorie count.
As long as you eat them in moderation, nuts make for a tasty addition to a healthy, balanced diet.