Guidelines on Nuts

When you’re looking for a midmorning or midafternoon munch, nuts are a healthy go-to choice. They are an excellent source of protein, heart-healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, vitamins, minerals, and fiber. When substituted for saturated fat in the diet, nuts can help to lower total cholesterol as well as bad (LDL) cholesterol without affecting levels of good HDL cholesterol.

Serving-Size Recommendations

You can enjoy nuts on all Phases of the South Beach Diet. Keep in mind that serving sizes vary for different types. Try to limit to one serving per day as specified below, keeping in mind that while nuts are good for you, they are calorie dense and eating too many might cause your weight loss to stall.

Here are different types of nuts and seeds with our recommended serving sizes:

  • Almonds — 15 pieces
  • Brazil nuts — 4 pieces
  • Cashews — 15 pieces
  • Chestnuts — 6 pieces
  • Edamame, dry-roasted — 1/4 cup
  • Filberts — 25 pieces
  • Hazelnuts — 25 pieces
  • Macadamias — 8 pieces
  • Peanuts, dry-roasted or boiled — 20 small pieces
  • Pecans — 15 pieces
  • Pine nuts (pignoli) — 3 tablespoons (1 oz.)
  • Pistachios — 30 pieces
  • Soy nuts — 1/4 cup
  • Walnuts — 15 pieces
 
How to Enjoy Nuts
Nuts are sold shelled or unshelled, salted, unsalted, toasted, dry-roasted, and raw. In addition to eating them as snacks, you can use them in recipes (toasting brings out the flavor). While you can keep nuts at room temperature, check them often for rancidity. Shelled nuts tend to turn rancid more quickly than unshelled and both will keep longer if refrigerated (four months) or frozen (eight months) in a tightly covered container. Top salads, cereals, or yogurt with a few nuts, or use the portion sizes above to dole out a healthy, satisfying single- or mixed-nut snack for yourself.

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