Skip to main content
Welcome to
super saver spring
offer ends april 20
save over $140
save over 85%
$0.99
per week for 24 weeks
Welcome to
super saver spring
$0.99
per week
for 24 weeks
// //

The question: Are all nuts healthy? Are there certain types I should avoid?

The answer: Providing you eat them raw or dry roasted – and unsalted – all types of nuts are good for you. There isn't one type of nut you should avoid. (Contrary to popular belief, cashews and macadamia nuts are very nutritious.) All nuts are a good source of plant protein, contain no cholesterol and are low in saturated fat. In fact, the majority of the fat in nuts is unsaturated, a heart healthy type of fat.

Including nuts in your diet on a regular basis is linked with protection from heart disease and Type 2 diabetes. Studies have consistently shown that including almonds, peanuts, hazelnuts, walnuts, pistachios, macadamia nuts or pecans in the diet lowers LDL (bad) cholesterol. In addition to their healthy fats, nuts also contain natural compounds called plant sterols, which are implicated in lowering cholesterol.

Story continues below advertisement

Adding nuts to your diet can also help keep your blood pressure in check. The DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet, an eating plan scientifically proven to lower blood pressure in people with mild and moderate hypertension, includes a serving of nuts up to five times a week. The blood pressure-lowering effect of nuts is attributed to their protein, magnesium and arginine content. (Arginine is an amino acid that helps relax blood vessels.)

The nutrient profile of each type of nut is different. Almonds and hazelnuts are exceptional sources of vitamin E, an antioxidant that helps keep brain cells healthy. Peanuts contain the most folate, a B vitamin that's needed to repair DNA in cells. And if you're looking to add a good source of monounsaturated fat to your diet, macadamia, hazelnuts, almonds, cashews and pecans are your best choices.

While nuts are good for you, they are high in calories. A one-ounce serving of nuts delivers anywhere from 160 and 200 calories. One ounce of nuts isn't that large – you'll need to count out 6 Brazil nuts, 18 cashews, 14 walnut halves, 23 almonds or 28 peanuts to make sure you're eating only one serving.

NUT NUTRITION

Per 1 ounce (28 grams) serving

How many? Calories Noteworthy for

Almonds

Story continues below advertisement

  • How many: 23
  • Calories: 163
  • Noteworthy for: monounsaturated fat, vitamin E, calcium, magnesium

Brazil nuts

  • How many: 6
  • Calories: 186
  • Noteworthy for: magnesium, selenium, copper

Cashews

  • How many: 18
  • Calories: 163
  • Noteworthy for: monounsaturated fat, magnesium, copper, plant sterols

Hazelnuts

  • How many: 21
  • Calories: 178
  • Noteworthy for: monounsaturated fat, vitamin E, folate, copper, manganese

Macadamia nuts

  • How many: 10 to 12
  • Calories: 200
  • Noteworthy for: monounsaturated fat, manganese, plant sterols

Peanuts

  • How many: 28
  • Calories: 170
  • Noteworthy for: magnesium, folate, niacin, manganese

Pecans

Story continues below advertisement

  • How many: 19 halves
  • Calories: 196
  • Noteworthy for: monounsaturated fat, copper, manganese

Pistachios

  • How many: 49
  • Calories: 161
  • Noteworthy for: vitamin B6, copper, manganese

Walnuts

  • How many: 14 halves
  • Calories: 185
  • Noteworthy for: copper, manganese, ALA (an omega-3 fatty acid)

Leslie Beck, a registered dietitian, is the national director of nutrition at BodyScience Medical. She can be seen every Thursday at noon on CTV News Channel'sDirect (www.lesliebeck.com).

Click here to submit your questions. Our Health Experts will answer select questions, which could appear in The Globe and Mail and/or on The Globe and Mail web site. Your name will not be published if your question is chosen.

The content provided in The Globe and Mail's Ask a Health Expert centre is for information purposes only and is neither intended to be relied upon nor to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

  1. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
  2. Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.

Follow the author of this article:

Follow topics related to this article:

View more suggestions in Following Read more about following topics and authors
Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

UPDATED: Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies