While I have always loved nuts, I have spent most of my life fearing them. The stigma that nuts are full of fat and therefore, should not be eaten, has definitely carried with me throughout the years. In fact, when I first started leaning towards veganism, I would watch vegan YouTube videos or browse vegan recipes and balk at the idea of eating nut butters or whole nuts. Then, after some time, I started to dig deeper and realized there was a lot more to nuts than just calories.
Yes, nuts are calorically dense and contain a high fat content. And yes, eating them in large quantities can contribute to weight gain depending on the other components of your diet. However, what is often overshadowed when it comes to nuts is the source of fats they provide as well as the hundreds of other health benefits that come with them.
In short, nuts are packed with vitamins and omega-3’s, contain plant sterols which aid in lowering cholesterol, and most importantly – have a great source of protein and fiber! Oh and about the whole fats thing…unlike some fat sources that can be consumed, nuts are unsaturated fats (aka the ‘good’ fats). So, while no one is encouraging you to eat nuts by the pound each and every day, including a good handful (approx. 30 grams) of a variety of nuts each day will greatly impact your health.
To help expand on the education of nuts, I have created the following graphic with insights to the nutrition inside some of my favorite nuts.
Feel free to share this graphic with others and be sure to tag #wholesomeandhungry when you do!