Nuts. There are lots of them. And a lot to know about their nutritional content.
Nuts are healthy, but can also be high in calories. The nutritional values to your health differ wildly between types, and it can depend on whether the nuts are raw or roasted, plain or salted, etc.
So how do you know whether or not you should eat nuts – and which nuts – in order to lose weight or maintain a healthy diet with all the right nutrients?
Here is your chart for calories in nuts.
|100 grams||calories %|
Given the broad range of nutritional content of nuts, the categorization of simply being a “nut” is a woefully inadequate classification. For example, some nuts are low in fat and very starchy, like chestnuts, whereas others are high fat and low carb, like macadamia nuts. Most, however, can be incorporated into a healthy diet.
Lowest & Highest Calorie Nuts – There are so many ways to talk about the nutritional content of nuts, so I decided to tackle this by weight, i.e., per 100 grams. This is about 3.5 ounces or roughly two-thirds of a cup on average – a handful. Keep in mind that for some nuts, this is more of a small meal than a big snack. The amount of calories in 100 grams of nuts ranges from 213 for chestnuts all the way to 718 for macadamia nuts – a difference primarily driven by the fat content. The protein and fat in nuts are what have the potential to help you stick to your diet and feel full if you use them in small portions as snacks.
Nuts With The Most Fiber – Almonds have the most fiber (12% w/w, or 12 g/100g) and cashews & pine nuts the least (3-4%). Chestnuts have the most sugar and Brazil nuts the least. Lastly, peanuts, almonds, and pistachios have the most protein (21-26%) and chestnuts the least (2%).
Nuts Vary By Type Of Fat – Protein quality doesn’t vary widely across different nuts, but fat quality does. In terms of absolute amounts (g/100g), Brazil nuts & macadamia nuts have the most saturated fat, where chestnuts have the least.
Study showed that standard roasting procedures significantly increased the trans fat content.
If you can’t find raw nuts or are unsure, stick to those with low polyunsaturated fats like hazel & macadamia nuts, while avoiding those with high polyunsaturated fats like brazil nuts and walnuts. Macadamia nuts are the safest in terms of fat quality. Also, avoid those with the most sugar and carbohydrates like chestnuts and cashews as these can lead to increased AGE production upon roasting.
The essential fatty acid content of nuts (omega-3 & omega-6 fatty acids) should not be a priority in the selection process. If a theoretical optimal ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fats actually existed, all nuts would be way over it due to their high omega-6 fatty acid content.
Low Carb Nuts – If you’re on a low carbohydrate or ketogenic diet, macadamia nuts and pecans are both more than within the acceptable ratio of fats to carbs plus protein (both are >5), however the latter are high in polyunsaturated fats, so check to make sure they’re raw.