The other day a client asked me what my most favorite snack is. I thought about the pretzels and Fritos corn chips I enjoy from time to time. Yes, even personal trainers like to occasionally indulge in unhealthy food. However, the one snack I do consistently eat is a variety of nuts.
My three “go to” favorites are almonds, pistachios, and cashews. These 3 types of nuts, eaten in moderation, are a healthy choice for snacking. Per ounce, they are about equal in calorie content and are good sources of omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, and protein.
As I said, nuts should be eaten in moderation. This means small serving sizes. I recommended a small handful which equals about 12-15 nuts per serving. Eating more than this will certainly add unwanted calories and delay any weight loss goals you may have set. Also, stay away from salted nuts and nuts roasted in oil. Choose nuts that are dry roasted or raw. These will have the best natural flavors, the most nutrients, and are best for a heart healthy diet.
A one ounce serving of almonds has approximately 160 calories, 6 grams of protein, and 14 grams of fat. Remember, fats from nuts are good for weight loss and heart health. It’s the saturated fats from beef that you should limit in your diet. Pistachios also have 6 grams of protein and 13 grams of fat in a one ounce serving. Cashews have approximately 5 grams of protein and 13 grams of fat in one ounce.
Ounce for ounce, almonds, pistachios, and cashews are very similar in nutrient content. Each has their own unique taste. All three make an excellent mid-afternoon snack when you’re feeling hungry and not wanting to reach for a bag of Fritos. As with any food, remember to eat nuts only in moderation! Enjoy!