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Go Nuts on Your Diet!

Peanuts, almonds and more are good -- and good for you

Portion Control continued...

A one-ounce serving of nuts contains between 160 and 200 calories, most of which come from the heart-healthy monounsaturated fat. Nuts are also very high in dietary fiber, and are one of the best plant sources of protein.

Most nuts are consumed on their own, by the handful, which can be dangerous. This is the kind of food that often leads to "eating amnesia" --- hand to mouth without much thought -- and can easily lead to consuming lots of extra calories.

Avoid mindless eating by pre-portioning your nuts in small bags for a great snack to take on the go or to the office. Choose nuts in the shell and you'll probably eat fewer since it takes time to crack them. Or take one handful and put the package away.

Your goal is to eat nuts instead of other sources of fat like cakes, cookies, or chips. You won't feel deprived when you top your apple or celery slices with peanut butter!

Here are some ways to add healthy "nut" fat to your diet:

  • Top hot or cold cereal with nuts for a nourishing breakfast.
  • Sprinkle almonds on top of yogurt.
  • Add peanuts to nonfat frozen yogurt.
  • Use fat-free salad dressing and add nuts to your salads.
  • Use nuts to replace croutons in salads or soups.
  • Bring pasta to life by sprinkling it with chopped nuts.
  • Remember that slivered almonds do wonders with everything from chicken to desserts.
  • Add nuts to bread, pancakes, waffles, or muffins.
  • Mix nuts into lite cream cheese for a delicious spread.
  • Add nuts to popcorn for a tasty snack.
  • Add great flavor to steamed veggies with a handful of nuts.
  • Toast nuts to enhance the flavor. Bake for 5-10 minutes in a 350-degree oven

How Calories in Nuts Add Up

A small handful of nuts is about 1 ounce. Here's how many calories that will add up to for various types of nuts:

Dry roasted peanuts, regular (30 nuts)170
Dry roasted peanuts, unsalted (30 nuts)160
Cocktail peanuts (30 nuts)170
Honey-roasted peanuts (30)150
Almonds (24)160
Brazil nuts (7)170
Cashews (20)170
Walnuts (14)180
Pistachios, shelled (47)170
Pecans (20 halves)190
Macadamia nuts (11)200

Eating as little as one ounce of nuts per day can provide you with all the health benefits. So do it, go nuts!

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Reviewed on May 20, 2003

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