A Handful of Nuts a Day Keeps the Doctor Away
Most diets recommend staying away from fatty foods like meat and butter, but there are different types of fat that we get from plants, most notably nuts, that have health benefits.
Unlike saturated fat in meat, nuts are abundant with unsaturated fat. Fat makes up 50 to 70 percent of nuts, depending on the type. Because of the high proportion of fat, nuts should be consumed moderately. A handful of nuts per day, which is about 30 g, is ideal. This is about 23 almonds or 10 peanut shells.
Fat constructs all cells, maintains body temperature, protects our organs, produces various hormones and helps with absorption of vitamins.
Unsaturated fat in nuts lowers low-density lipoprotein, which is a cause of arteriosclerosis and increases high-density lipoprotein, which discharges triglycerides to improve blood circulation and prevent cardiovascular diseases.
But nuts are high-calorie food -- about 40 g of them contain 190 kcal, so moderate consumption is advised. Too many nuts at one sitting can lead to obesity, gastrointestinal disturbance or diarrhea.
Each type of nut has different nutrients, so it is better to eat many different types in small quantities than eating one type a lot.