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|Why Nuts are Healthy||Protein Rankings by Nut||Protein Rankings by Seed|
|Estimated Reading Time: 7 minutes (1,500 words)|
It is widely known that nuts pack a powerful protein punch. Keto dieters and other health-conscious eaters have been singing their praises for years.
But just how much protein do nuts really have?
In the following guide, we endeavor to answer this question by ranking the protein in nuts from most amount of protein to least amount of protein.
But first, let’s talk about why it matters that nuts are a good source of protein in the first place, plus what other benefits they have for a healthy lifestyle.
Why Are Nuts Healthy?
The health benefits of nuts are numerous. In addition to being high-protein, here are some other things that make nuts worth adding to your diet.
They help with weight loss.
We all know that weight gain is often caused by a low-fat, high-carb diet. Candy, ice cream, cake, donuts, crackers, white bread, and pasta all fit the bill. But high-fat, low-carb nuts are the antithesis of these weight-gaining foods. They have enough protein and fat to keep you satiated with just a small amount while other foods like pasta will have you coming back for more even after a full serving.
They’re good for your brain.
Omega-3 fatty acids are found in numerous healthy foods, from nuts, to spinach, canola oil, and fish. Broken down, these fatty acidsinclude docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), all of which are essential for numerous body functions. One of the ways omega-3s help you is by boosting cognitive function. That's because they're able to build cell membranes, and they also have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. Omega-3s may even help reduce the likelihood of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia later in life.
They combat high blood pressure and heart disease.
The fact that omega-3s are in high supply in nuts also helps them be essential for a healthy cardiovascular system. If you can get more DHAs and EPAs in your diet through foods like nuts, you have a lower likelihood of having a stroke, heart attack, or other major cardiac event. This is largely because more omega-3s in your system will help lower blood pressure and triglyceride levels. If these two things are too high, they are some of the biggest risk factors for heart disease.
They’re the perfect snack for those with type 2 diabetes.
For those who struggle with type 2 diabetes, eating a handful of nuts is the perfect snack. First, the high amount of protein and fat that nuts pack will keep you fuller for longer. This can help those diabetics who are trying to lose excess weight in order to help them get off insulin or other diabetic medications. Even if you can't avoid taking insulin or medications when you're diabetic, losing excess weight and reaching a healthy BMI can prevent diabetes-related complications, such as vision loss.
In addition, most nuts have few, if any, carbohydrates. Carbs aren't good for type 2 diabetics who need to keep their blood sugar levels down. Carbs are broken down into sugar in the body. Too much sugar (glucose) in the blood stream because of insulin resistance (which is what generally causes type 2 diabetes) can make blood sugar levels spike.
Nutrition Facts: Protein in Nuts, Ranked Lowest to Highest
In addition to all of the health benefits above, what is again most notable about nuts is that they’re an excellent source of protein. Getting enough protein in your diet is essential. Protein:
- Promotes a healthy heart
- Boosts metabolism
- Improves the quality of skin and hair (makes both smoother and healthier-looking)
- Maintains bone mass
- Lowers blood pressure
Certainly, anyone can benefit from the protein found in nuts, but nuts are especially beneficial for vegan eaters and vegetarians as they can help replace meat and meat-based products in the diet.
So, just what is the protein content of your favorite nuts?
Here are the rankings for some of your favorite nuts — from lowest amount of protein, to highest.
Protein per 1 ounce: 2.2 grams
Protein per 100 grams: 7.9 grams
Protein per 1 ounce: 2.6 grams
Protein per 100 grams: 9.2 grams
Protein per 1 ounce: 3.9 grams
Protein per 100 grams: 13.7 grams
Protein per 1 ounce: 4.3 grams
Protein per 100 grams: 15 grams
Protein per 1 ounce: 4.3 grams
Protein per 100 grams: 15.2 grams
Protein per 1 ounce: 4.3 grams
Protein per 100 grams: 15.3 grams
Protein per 1 ounce: 6 grams
Protein per 100 grams: 21.1 grams
Protein per 1 ounce: 6 grams
Protein per 100 grams: 21.2 grams
Protein per 1 ounce: 6.9 grams
Protein per 100 grams: 24.4 grams
Protein Amount in Seeds
As it turns out, on average, seeds actually contain more protein per ounce than nuts do. That isn’t to say that nuts aren’t still an especially good source of protein. Plus, they're very close relatives to seeds (more on this later). Still, seeds are another great option for a protein-rich snack.
What’s the difference between nuts and seeds?
You may wonder why we’re mentioning seeds at all if this is a guide to the protein amounts in nuts. Well, nuts and seeds are actually closely related. They’re not the same thing, but you could call them "cousins."
That is, inside of a nut, you’ll often find a seed. This is because, technically speaking, a nut is a fruit. Once you break off the (usually inedible) shell of the nut fruit, you get to the seed. Now, when it comes to most nuts, the seed portion of the nut fruit is indeed what you eat anyway. Again, the fruit portion is usually inedible. Still, seeds are generally found inside nuts and are, therefore, not the same thing as nuts. This is why many people call nuts “one-seeded fruits.”
With that said, a lot of people mix up nuts and seeds, and it’s easy to do! For one thing, the names of these foods are often misleading (pine nuts, for example, are actually seeds). What they look like is confusing too. For example, Brazil nuts and horse chestnuts certainly look like standard nuts, but they are indeed seeds. Additionally, walnuts sure look like traditional nuts too, but they are actually drupes or "stone fruits." Almonds are drupes too, as are avocados and peaches.
For the purpose of this guide, however, we’ve divided nuts and seeds. For your nutritional information, the following is a list of the seeds that have the most amount of protein, from lowest amount to highest amount.
Protein per 1 ounce: 4.7 grams
Protein per 100 grams: 16.5 grams
Protein per 1 ounce: 4.8 grams
Protein per 100 grams: 17 grams
Protein per 1 ounce: 5.2 grams
Protein per 100 grams: 18.3 grams
Protein per 1 ounce: 5.5 grams
Protein per 100 grams: 19.3 grams
Pumpkin Seeds (and Most Other Squash Seeds)
Protein per 1 ounce: 8.5 grams
Protein per 100 grams: 29.8 grams
Protein per 1 ounce: 9 grams
Protein per 100 grams: 31.6 grams
How to Get More Nuts in Your Diet
Experts suggest that a serving size of just one ounce of nuts a day is the perfect amount for your daily value of protein. This amount can give you all of the wonderful health benefits of nuts you need. Plus, a handful isn't actually much at all. For example, one ounce of macadamia nuts is only about 12 nuts. One ounce of almonds is about 24 nuts. One ounce of pecans is about 15 halves. Basically, a small handful of any single variety or a small amount of mixed nuts will do it if you want to eat one ounce of raw nuts per day.
Still, not everyone is enticed by a snack of plain, raw nuts.
If that’s you, try these tips to get more nuts in your diet in other ways:
- Add nuts to your smoothies
- Try roasted mixed nuts in different flavors
- Grab a piece of dark chocolate with nuts
- Get your nut fix in butter form (peanut butter, almond butter, cashew butter, etc.)
- Put nuts in your morning oatmeal or yogurt
- Sprinkle nuts on top of salads
- Eat trail mix as a snack (nuts mixed with other ingredients such as seeds, dried fruits, and dark chocolate pieces)
- Try nuts with added flavors, like salt and cayenne, brown sugar, barbecue seasoning, or honey
Take Advantage of the Health-Boosting Benefits of Nuts
Got a hankering for some nuts after reading this article? Go ahead, have some! Nuts are an excellent addition to any diet. The nuts we mention here offer some of the best all-natural protein options available. This is especially for those who eat vegan or vegetarian, but everyone knows that eating a healthy, protein-rich diet is part of a well-balanced lifestyle.
When you’re being especially health-conscious or you're on a diet like keto, it can often seem as though everything “good” is off limits. Fortunately, when you want a snack that’s actually delicious and healthy, nuts are truly hard to beat.
Author: Faye C.
|Faye is a guest contributor for SuperFat who writers professionally in the health and nutrition space.|
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