Be Like the Squirrels and Go Nuts!

NutsLet’s take a lesson from the squirrels and save some room for nuts in your diet. Nuts are considered a healthy addition to the diet in moderation. According to MyPlate.gov, a recommended serving for nuts is a one-ounce serving, which is equivalent to 23 almonds, 13 cashews, or 9 walnut halves. Although many nut lovers tend to favor a few particular kinds of nuts, eating a variety of nuts can help to maximize the benefits that this group can provide.

  • Soy nuts, which are a legume, contain 11 grams of protein, 1.12 mg (6% DV) of iron, 387 mg (11% DV) of potassium, and 2.3 grams (9% DV) of fiber per ounce.
  • Peanuts, which are also a legume, contain 1.30 mg (7% DV) of iron, 2.4 grams (10% DV) of fiber, and 3.4 mg (17% DV) of niacin per ounce.
  • Almonds contain 1.05 mg (6% DV) of iron, 3.5 grams (14% DV) of fiber, and 200 mg (6% DV) of potassium per ounce.
  • Cashews contain 1.89 mg (11% DV) of iron, 187 mg (5% DV) of potassium, and 1.64 mg (11% DV) of zinc.
  • Walnuts are well known for their omega-3 fatty acid content.

These are just a few nutritional highlights that this flavorful group provides. In addition, because of their higher fat content, nuts can help with satiety and are an easy to carry snack. To keep sodium intake down, skip the salted nuts and instead opt for dry roasted nuts or purchase raw nuts and toast them yourself in a skillet over medium heat.

So, when you are looking for a healthy, portable snack this holiday season, remember the squirrels and grab a small handful of nuts.


Meredith Hink MS, RD, CD

I am a Corporate Dietitian with a foodservice distribution company. My professional areas of interest include food safety and sanitation, food marketing, food law, and vegetarian nutrition. In my spare time I am an avid food photographer and enjoy spending time with my husband and two dogs.

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