Because of their immense popularity and the common belief that they’re great for diets, most people believe that nuts are good for your health – and they are not necessarily wrong. Almonds, peanuts, walnuts, chestnuts are all nutritious snack options. But remember: Too much of a good thing can be detrimental, and this concept rings true for even the healthiest nuts. And, surprisingly, there are a few nuts that, if eaten without moderation, actually aren’t as good for you as you may have previously thought.
The good: Pecans are great for the heart, preventing the forming of plaque in your arteries and lowering cholesterol by over 30 percent. They can also be beneficial for brain health. They’re believed to slow the progression of neurological diseases like Lou Gehrig’s disease.
The bad: A single pecan is about twenty calories, so just imagine how many calories you would rack up after eating a whole slice of pecan pie!
The good: Macadamia nuts have no cholesterol whatsoever and are high in triglycerides and monosaturated fats, making them excellent for heart health. In addition, these nuts also have antioxidants, dietary fiber and protein, which are great for preventing cancers, aiding in digestion and helping strengthen bones, hair, skin, and nails, respectively.
The bad: Macadamia nuts, have more calories than protein. An ounce of macadamia nuts only has two grams of protein, yet it has over twenty-one grams of fat. Just imagine the calories in two macadamia nut cookies! So eat them sparingly.
The good: Brazil nuts have magnesium, which is great for muscle function; healthy unsaturated fat, which is vital for heart health; and copper, for iron intake. Brazil nuts are full of zinc, vitamin E, riboflavin and selenium, which can protect against diseases like prostate, bone and breast cancer.
The bad: All you need to help is one Brazil nut, because it holds a little over one whole day’s worth of selenium. Considering eat three handfuls? Be warned – too much selenium has been linked to an increased risk of type 2 diabetes.
The three nuts listed above are the main three danger nuts that should be consumed carefully, and they’re not the only ones to be wary of. These, along with almonds, walnuts, peanuts and hazelnuts, contain phytic acid, a form of phosphorous found in plants. Although this acid is harmless to plants and herbivores like cattle and horses, humans can’t absorb it in large amounts. In humans, phytic acid grabs on to minerals in the food we eat and keeps us from getting all the nutrients from it. Phytic acid also negatively affects our digestive enzymes. So it’s recommended to stay in the range of 100 to 400 mg worth of phytic acid per day.
It’s all about moderation; as long as you don’t go too crazy with the nuts, you won’t need to worry!