Dried nuts: Which of them benefit and which harm our health?

Dried nuts: Which of them benefit and which harm our health?

Almonds and walnuts contain valuable nutrients for the body, unlike macadamia and pecan nuts that have the most calories.

The healthiest:

Almonds and cashews are the dried nuts with the less calories.

Nuts that have been roasted in oil should be avoided and prefer raw and unsalted ones. Roasted nuts may have been heated in hydrogenated oils or at a high temperature, thus losing their nutrients.

On the other hand, macadamia and pecan nuts have the most calories, the lowest protein percentage and the highest percentage of fat.  You should avoid them, unless you consume them in moderation. However, as the nutritionist Manolis Manolarakis points out, "it is wrong to separate nuts and say that one is better than the other, due to their similar recommendation. In general, it is unhealthy to eat them salted, coated with paprika and sweeteners, for example, caramelized almonds. According to a study contacted  by Harvard  researchers in 2004, the best thing to do is to consume a mix of nuts and not only a kind at a daily basis.

What are the benefits of eating them?

Against inflammation

All nuts contain valuable omega-3 fatty acids, but also trace elements, proteins, fiber and vitamins. However, walnuts are differentiated in that they have a high content of alpha linoleic acid. Surveys have shown that this substance helps in cases of cardiac arrhythmia, while in 2006 a Spanish study showed that walnuts are as effective as olive oil in reducing inflammation and oxidation in the arteries after a greasy meal. "Generally, walnuts are rich fiber sterols, antioxidants, potassium, iron and vitamins," says Mr. Manolarakis.

For the brain

Peanuts have a high content of folic acid, a metallic element, essential for brain development, which can provide protection against degenerative diseases. Also, they contain proteins, vitamin E and omega-3 fatty acids.


For bones

As the nutritionist explains, "Almonds, are the most popular nuts, and considered as a rich source of calcium, so they are used as a dietary supplement for vegetarians. Furthermore, they are rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids, fiber and vitamin E, which has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. We can use them as a light snack - making sure that they are unsalted - because there is a risk that we will overcome the permitted consumption limit of sodium every day.


Beware of cholesterol

"Cashews are rich in protein, but they contain a lot of saturated fat, so those who have high cholesterol should be careful with their consumption," expert says. Exact the same for macadamia, which is a rich source of selenium but also of saturated fat.