Food Showdown: Which Nut is All It's Cracked Up to Be?

By , SparkPeople Blogger
Nuts have gotten a bad rap as high calorie, indulgent foods. It's true that nuts get more than half of their calories from fat, but the fat in nuts is healthy for you, your heart, and your waistline.  But how do different types of nuts compare to one another? 

Almonds are a healthy source of calcium and make a great snack alone or in your favorite salad.  Walnuts are an excellent source of magnesium, omega 3 fatty acids and vitamin B6.  If you want to get the health benefits of nuts without adding excessive calories to your diet, which of these two should you choose?
The Winner: Almonds!
Almonds contain about 182 calories and 19 grams of fat per 1/3-cup, making them a good option when trying to add nuts to your diet.  At 261 calories and 26 grams of fat, the same serving of walnuts is a little harder to handle.  Of course, you can still enjoy vitamin-rich walnuts in moderation. About 1 to 1-1/2 ounces of nuts are recommended per day, which is approximately one handful. If you eat much beyond that, you're taking in a lot of extra calories! Instead of eating them plain, try using nuts as a garnish for cereals, salads, or even meat dishes, like almond-crusted chicken breast.

What's your favorite way to incorporate nuts into your diet?