Baked, broiled, raw, unsalted or even mixed – whether from a tree or the ground – nuts come nutrient-packed. But, what’s the difference among them? And why should they be included in your diet?

Why we’re nuts about nuts and you should be too!

Nuts are a heart-healthy option and are a great source of unsaturated fats, omega-3 fatty acids, fiber and a variety of vitamins. They’re also an excellent way to consume protein if you’re going meat-free.

Nutrition facts – based on a one-ounce serving.

Type Calories Total Fat Fiber Protein
Walnuts 185 18.9g 1.9g 4.3g
Almonds 163 14.0g 3.5g 6.0g
Hazelnuts 178 17.2g 2.7g 4.2g
Cashews 163 13.1g 0.9g 4.3g
Pistachios 152 12.1g 2.8g 5.6g
Brazil nuts 186 18.8g 1.5g 4.0g
Macadamias 204 21.5g 2.4g 2.2g
Pecans 196 20.4g 2.7g 2.6g
Peanuts 166 14.1g 2.3g 6.7g
Chestnuts 37 0.4 g 0.0g 0.6g

 

Tree nuts vs. Groundnuts

Did you know the definition of a nut may differ botanically and culinarily speaking? There are various kinds of nuts, and the term “nut” is used loosely.

A tree nut is fruit composed of a hard shell and a seed, and is generally edible. Whereas a groundnut is a seed that ripens underground from a plant. What many don’t realize is, a peanut is not a nut by botanical context, but rather is a member of the legume family, making it a seed, similar to sunflower or sesame. If that wasn’t confusing enough, get this: A coconut is a fruit, nut and a seed! Find out more about this triple threat here.

Whatever the consensus of a nut may be, the health benefits are certain. As long as an allergy is not present, nuts are a great source of nutrition and should be considered as part of your healthy diet.

Want a fun way to add the nuts to an entrée? Try this pistachio-crusted salmon fillet next time you’re whipping up dinner. It’s a recipe any nut lover is sure to enjoy.