Nutty Nutrition Tips

Eat nuts, but don’t go nuts.

Monica Reinagel, M.S.,L.D./N
4-minute read
Episode #8

What's the Best Kind of Nut?

Inevitably, whenever the topic turns to nuts, someone will ask me which nut is best for you. It really depends on what you’re judging by.

In terms of protein content, peanuts take the cake. (That’s probably because peanuts technically aren’t nuts at all; they’re legumes.) Almonds win the prize for most fiber. Pistachios are high in plant sterols, the compounds that help to lower LDL cholesterol.

Brazil nuts are particularly high in antioxidants, especially selenium. Pretty much all nuts are high in monounsaturated fats. But English walnuts have the added distinction of being rich in omega-3 fats, as well.

And here’s a bit of nut trivia for you to dish out at the next cocktail party you attend. Most people think that cashews are higher in fat and calories than other kinds of nuts. Not true at all. In fact, cashews are on the lower end of the spectrum in terms of fat and calories.

Nope, it’s pecans that you want to watch out for! They’re about 20% higher in fat and calories than most other nuts…and that’s before they get baked into pies!

While there are some significant nutritional differences, the studies that found benefits from eating nuts didn’t distinguish peanuts from pecans. So, I suggest that you just eat the ones you enjoy—but, in moderation.

Click here to get my delicious recipe for quinoa salad with pecans and cranberries.


This is Monica Reinagel, the Nutrition Diva, with your quick and dirty tips for eating well and feeling fabulous.  These tips are provided for your information and entertainment and are not intended as medical advice. Because everyone is different, please work with your health professional to determine what’s right for you.

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Nuts image courtesy of Shutterstock


About the Author

Monica Reinagel, M.S.,L.D./N
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