3 Ways to Choose Nuts Low in Fat
ow in Saturated Fat
While nuts are high in monounsaturated fat and polyunsaturated fats, which are the good fats, they are relatively low in saturated fat. Saturated fats are the bad fats that cause clogged arteries and obesity.
The good fats in nuts can actually lower the risk of heart disease by as much as 35 percent. These beneficial fats are called omega-3s, and are known to have heart-protective benefits. While saturated fatty acids are a primary cause of high cholesterol, unsaturated fats are actually recommended as part of a cholesterol-lowering diet. By helping to keep levels of bad cholesterol down, nuts can play a role in preventing heart disease. Almonds are especially potent for heart health. These good fats are also helpful for weight loss: In fact, people actually need fat in order to maintain optimum weight.
The Fat Content in Nuts
Looking at the ratio of saturated fat to total fat of each nut shows that most of the fats in nuts are beneficial. Pecans have 1.5g/18.3, pine nuts have 2.2g/14.3g, pistachios have 1.7g/13.7g, walnuts have 1g/16g and butter nuts have 4g/16.2.
Nuts and Rancid Fats
It is important to ensure that your nuts do not go rancid, which can potentially lead to ill health and counteract the good that the fats in nuts do. Rancid nuts can also cause problems such as irritation of the stomach and intestines.
Since exposure to oxygen is what causes nuts to go rancid, keeping them in their shells until you’re ready to eat them should extend their life. Nuts also go rancid faster if they are chopped or ground. Therefore, it is better to buy nuts when they are whole, and better yet, when they have their shells.