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Types Of Nuts: Which Ones Are Best?

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Nuts are good for a lot of things–and there is a wide variety to choose from for your next snack. You may be surprised to learn that nuts can be a very good source of protein, fiber, and healthy fats. A handful of certain nuts can play a role in a healthy diet by offering your body key nutrients like vitamins and minerals.

Approximately one percent of US citizens have a nut allergy. In fact, an allergy to tree nuts is the most common food allergy in general. Using care while trying new nuts is important because it is possible to be allergic to all tree nuts or only one tree nut.

That “one” could be discovered at any point, though you can schedule an appointment with your doctor who will administer an allergy test for you. This can be a great idea as some allergies are mild and can be treated with medication, whereas others can be fatal.

In this article, we’ll look at which nuts are healthier than others and why. Some nuts may be harder to get a hold of since they grow in specific regions, while others are very common and good sources of protein. In any case, nuts that are new to you should be handled in moderation since you never know when you may discover an allergy.

Which Nuts Are Regional?

Sometimes certain nuts can be difficult to get a hold of, and they can be a little pricey if you do. This is due to the area they are grown in and whether or not you are purchasing imported goods.

Some nuts are easy enough for anyone to grow, just about anywhere. Certain tree nuts, however, are endemic. This means that they originate and thrive in only one area of the whole world.

Macadamia 

Macadamia nuts are a prime example of healthy yet expensive nuts. In fact, they are the most expensive nut in the whole world. They are indigenous to Australia, but other places grow these nuts, such as Hawaii.

Macadamia nuts are well desired for their buttery taste, but also due to their health benefits. They contain many vitamins and protein, and they can easily be incorporated into your diet. Doing this can create a very healthy routine and even aid in weight loss.

Brazil Nuts 

Brazil nuts, as you might have guessed, are another exclusive nut. Brazil is the best place to get some, although you can also find them in Peru, Columbia, and Ecuador.

These nuts are high in protein, vitamins, and magnesium. They can be very healthy for you, but they need to be consumed in moderation, as with any nut.

Although some nuts can be healthy, they still contain calories and high-fat content that can be unhealthy if too much is consumed. Brazil nuts are no different, and some people have been poisoned by eating too many.

Almonds 

California is also a very popular spot to pick up some nuts. A surplus of almonds grows in California, and a notable sum of walnuts and pistachios are also grown there. You may find these nuts to be cheaper in California compared to other places for this reason.

Which Nuts Are The Healthiest? 

Now let’s dig into which nuts are the healthiest options for you to eat! Before identifying the best nuts, however, we need to understand why they’re the best. Their quality and benefits depend on the type of fatty acids that they contain.

Monounsaturated Fats

We all need certain types of fatty acids, but some are extremely unhealthy. Monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats are good kinds of fats. Foods containing monounsaturated fats are considered to be very healthy and recommended by doctors for a good diet. You’ll find many nuts and seeds under this category.

Polyunsaturated Fats

The other category is polyunsaturated fats. This category of fatty acids is not only healthy but vital. Our body needs these fats but cannot produce them naturally, requiring external sources like food. Some nuts contain polyunsaturated fats as well.

However, the fats you want to avoid as much as possible are saturated fats and trans fats, leading to unhealthy cholesterol levels and high blood pressure.

Protein

Most nuts contain a good amount of protein as well. Many diets will suggest consuming less meat and replacing it with a handful of nuts a day instead. Nuts like cashews and peanuts are perfect for this source of protein, and they are also high in selenium, potassium, and manganese.

Here are some of the best different types of nuts, along with their fat quality of monounsaturated vs polyunsaturated acids:

  • Almonds: 36 grams of monounsaturated fats, 13 grams of polyunsaturated fats
  • Peanuts: 23 grams of monounsaturated fats, 14 grams of polyunsaturated fats
  • Pistachios: 27 grams of monounsaturated fats, 16 grams of polyunsaturated fats
  • Hazelnuts: 49 grams of monounsaturated fats, 7 grams of polyunsaturated fats
  • Pecans: 39 grams of monounsaturated fats, 25 grams of polyunsaturated fats
  • Brazil: 22 grams of monounsaturated fats, 29 grams of polyunsaturated fats
  • Pine nuts: 23 grams of monounsaturated fats, 40 grams of polyunsaturated fats
  • Walnuts:12 grams of monounsaturated fats, 50 grams of polyunsaturated fats

Nut butters can also offer many of the same benefits as conventional edible nuts, and they may be easier to incorporate into snacks or meals like peanut butter sandwiches.

Conclusion

Nuts can be an easy and delicious way to incorporate more protein, vitamins, and minerals into your diet, and consuming just one handful of nuts can offer your body a variety of nutrients.

However, you should be sure to get tested for a nut allergy if you’re concerned about a possible reaction, as nut allergies can be dangerous.

So, what’s your favorite nut?

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Sources:

Tree nuts | Produce Bluebook

Nut allergy | AAAAI

Nut list |Nuts for Life

Healthy Directions Staff Editor