Q&A: Why are nuts a good snack if they’re full of fat?

ID-100134607Question: I am a bit confused about nuts as a snack. Aren’t they full of fat?

Answer: In Prescription for Life, I recommend that you forgo snacks between meals when you are trying to lose weight. But, once you’re at your ideal weight and want a snack, reach for a fruit, some nuts, or a combination of the two.

You might be confused about nuts as a recommended snack. They do have some saturated fat which raises LDL cholesterol. But, they contain a whole lot more of the fat (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat) that raise HDL cholesterol, which combats LDL. They also contain some protein. So nuts are good for you.

Nuts do have a lot of calories, so you should not eat a lot due to that factor. But a small handful of nuts will satisfy your hunger craze. As far as the variety of nuts, any kind is much better than a candy bar! Almonds and walnuts are the best, but even peanuts help get our HDL cholesterol up.

So, yes, peanut butter is allowed. But note that one tablespoon of peanut butter is about equal to a small handful of the nuts. It can be easy to spread on a lot more of a nut butter that you realize.

Additionally, start a new habit by replacing packaged snacks with some nuts and bananas, grapes, oranges, blueberries, cherries, strawberries, or any other fruit you like. 





“Walnut” photo courtesy of franky242 at www.freedigitalphotos.net