*People with advanced heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or diabetes should substantially limit (4-5 nuts a day max.) or entirely avoid the consumption of nuts and oils. 

Weight loss isn’t the only benefit found in almonds, walnuts, cashews and the like. Nuts contain high content of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), a type of omega-3 fat. Just one-quarter cup of walnuts provides nearly 91 percent of the recommended daily value for this healthy fat.

Nuts lower bad cholesterol levels, and are a source of l-arginine, which is a substance that may help improve the health of your artery walls by making them more flexible and less prone to blood clots.

Aside from helping to protect against heart disease and stroke, omega-3 fats have been found to offer protection against a wide range of illnesses, from cancer and rheumatoid arthritis, to inflammatory bowel disease and depression. All nuts contain fiber, Vitamin E, and sterols, a substance that can help lower cholesterol.

Healthy Nuts include:

  • Macadamia
  • Hazelnuts
  • Brazil Nuts
  • Pine Nuts
  • Cashews
  • Almonds
  • Walnuts
  • Pistachios
  • Coconut
  • Pecans

Note: We don’t include Peanuts in the list of healthy nuts due to their content of AflatoxinAflatoxin B1 has been classified as a known human carcinogen and is known to cause liver cancer in animals. Aflatoxins may also be associated with liver cell cancer in humans in Africa and Asia where peanuts are a dietary mainstay. Recent research has shown a strong association between long-term dietary aflatoxin exposure in conjunction with hepatitis B (a viral infectious disease of the liver) and increased rates of liver cancer.  While “nut” is in their name, peanuts are in fact legumes. Peanuts actually grow underground, as opposed to nuts like walnuts, almonds, etc. that grow on trees (and are sometimes referred to as “tree nuts”).