Which Nut is Best?

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Good morning! Not going to lie, it was kind of nice not to wake up sore…. I’m always sore after a run! Browsing the family photos was definitely worth the missed workout, too.


I’m planning to "make up" for my lost day of running with a 6 or 7 miler tonight.


After skipping oatmeal yesterday, all I could think about this AM was a warm bowl of oats…. with lots of nuts (that’s what she said!).


And… of course… a hot cup of coffee!


I couldn’t decide which nuts to use as my topping…. so I had them all! 🙂


Three hazelnuts….


Three pecans


And three raw almonds….


And a sprinkle of Grape Nuts on the side! 🙂


My nutty bowl of oatmeal got me thinking….


Which Nut is the Best?


  • Walnuts come out on top! Walnuts are the only nut with an appreciable amount of alpha-linolenic acid, the only type of omega-3 fat you’ll find in a plant-based food. Walnuts also have high levels of antioxidiants and contain l-arginine. L-arginine produces nitric oxide, which is essential for healthy veins and arteries. Walnuts may also help to erase some of the damage of a high fat meal if you eat a handful as dessert


But other nuts have benefits, too!


  • Nuts contain the essential fatty acids, linoleic and linolenic acids, which are vital for growth, healthy skin and hair, blood pressure control, immune response and blood clotting. In addition, the fats in nuts mostly contain unsaturated fats, especially monounsaturated fat. This type of fat does not raise blood cholesterol levels like saturated fats.  Monounsaturated fats (MUFA) have the additional benefit of raising high-density lipoprotein, the "good cholesterol." 
  • Almonds have slightly more vitamin E than walnuts, and much more magnesium.   Almonds contain nearly 25 percent of your needed daily value of the important nutrient magnesium, plus is rich in potassium, manganese, copper, the antioxidants vitamin E and selenium, and calcium. In fact, a quarter cup of almonds has almost as much calcium as a quarter cup of milk.
  • Peanuts (which technically are legumes) lead in the folate category.
  • Cashews have even more magnesium than almonds (83 milligrams per ounce vs. 73), but they lag behind in vitamin E.   Cashews are lower in fat than most nuts, and 65 percent of this fat is unsaturated fatty acids. Of this, 90 percent is oleic acid, the heart-healthy fat found in olive oil.
  • Brazil nuts are packed with selenium.  One ounce has almost 10 times the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) of 55 micrograms.  A study at the University of Illinois even found that the high amounts of selenium in Brazil nuts may help prevent breast cancer.
  • Pecans are an excellent source of over 19 vitamins and minerals including vitamins E and A, folic acid, calcium, magnesium, copper, phosphorus, potassium, manganese, several B vitamins and zinc.  A from New Mexico State University found that eating 3/4 cup of pecans a day may significantly lower LDL (bad) cholesterol and help to clear the arteries.
  • Macadamia nuts are higher in saturated fat (3.4 grams per ounce) compared with other nuts.  However, these nuts are high in protein, fiber, healthy monounsaturated fats, potassium and magnesium.


Remember, the key with nuts is simply not to overeat them.  Nuts are highly calorie- and nutrient-dense, so you only need a small handful at a time!  And always choose raw or unsalted nuts.


Source: Harvard Medical School Family Health Guide; About.com; Yale New-Haven Hospital; and Sixwise.com.



  • VeggieGirl November 19, 2008, 5:39 am

    I eat nut-butters, Larabars, AND raw nuts every single day!!! 🙂

    Happy Wednesday!!

  • runningwithfood.com November 19, 2008, 5:54 am

    It’s a three-kinda day, isn’t it?! I love raw nuts – so good and so good for you! Fab breakfast!!

    I replied to your ? about Kitty – yes, we have her now! 🙂

  • ksgoodeats November 19, 2008, 5:55 am

    Thanks for the nut info, I love all of them 🙂

    Just saw your pictures from yesterday – how cute! Looking through old pictures is always fun. Have a great day!

  • I am Angie Pooh November 19, 2008, 6:01 am

    Good morning Caitlin!! I loved the pictures from last night. So cute!! 😀

    I laughed out loud when you wrote “that’s what she said” because my boyfriend says that a lot, but I found out today it’s a sexual reference! My friend told me, and I had no idea!!! Haha. I still think it’s funny though.

  • just me November 19, 2008, 6:11 am

    walnuts walnuts walnuts!!!!

  • ashley (sweet and natural) November 19, 2008, 6:13 am

    That’s why I eat so much nut butter!

  • RhodeyGirl/Sabrina November 19, 2008, 6:13 am

    omg. LOVE the 1990 wedding photo. that’s a classic.

    and wow you look exactly the same!

    happy wednesday!

    i feel like a nut!

  • Lara November 19, 2008, 6:23 am

    Love all the nutty info! Thanks 🙂

  • Balance, Joy and Delicias! November 19, 2008, 6:28 am

    thanks for the info! I didn’t know that peanut is actually legume!

  • jenngirl November 19, 2008, 6:32 am

    HAHA That’s What she said! Thanks for that!

    Good to know walnuts are the best, they are my FAVORITE!!

  • Nellie November 19, 2008, 7:34 am

    Yes, I LOVE “that’s what she said” comments. I swear I have the sense of humor of a pubescent boy. Oh and I love all the nut info, now I don’t have to question my intake of peanut butter! Yum!

  • Betsy November 19, 2008, 7:35 am

    i always thought cashews had more fat. now i can eat more!! haha.

  • Olga November 19, 2008, 7:41 am

    O0o Thanks for all the info on the nuts!

    I love roasted almonds and pecans more than anything else!

    I also love the appearance of Grape Nuts throughout the blog…I bought a box on sale last week, I might have to dig into it soon =]

  • seeleelive (for the love of peanut butter) November 19, 2008, 7:44 am

    Hip hip hoorayyyy for nuts!


    Thanks for the informative post….have a nutty day!

  • Kristen November 19, 2008, 7:44 am

    Thanks for the nut lesson.

  • Mica November 19, 2008, 7:47 am

    Thanks for compiling this information! It’s very informative.

    I know you read up on nutrition from a lot of sources; do you have a good book (or something?) to start reading about whole, healthy foods?

  • tfh November 19, 2008, 7:54 am

    Great nut info! Lately, I’m more and more into seeds– sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, yum.

  • Oh She Glows November 19, 2008, 9:25 am

    I loove your post about nuts!

    I have about a 1/4 c. of almonds every day!

  • Halie November 19, 2008, 9:27 am

    I love pecans!! I don’t eat nuts everyday though…. And what’s the deal with Grape Nuts? No grapes, no nuts? What is up with that? (HeeHee – I had a Jerry Seinfeld moment) 🙂

    Now here’s a Daria moment: “It’s a nutty nutty nutty world, we’re just nuts about nuts. Crunch nuts with your lunch. Buy them by the bunch. Send them to friends far away to munch.”

    Ok sorry! Have a good day! (and I always love “That’s what she said jokes!)

  • Meg November 19, 2008, 9:35 am

    Thanks for all the nut info! Have a great day!

  • Sharney November 19, 2008, 9:42 am

    Happy Wednesday! I hope you have a great long run tonight. Even if it is cold, it is always easier for me to run in the cold in the late afternoon rather than first thing in the morning. I just hate getting out of a warm bed and freezing my butt off- BRRRRRRRR!!!!

    I love your nutty oats. I am a nut fanatic. My favorite nut is peanuts, but walnuts come in a close second. I do have to be careful because I tend to eat too many of them! Thanks for all the nut facts & nutrition info. It was very informative.

    Have a fabulous day!

  • magpie November 19, 2008, 10:30 am

    Yay for nuts! I ate wayyyy too many last night but it’s good to hear about all of the health benefits 🙂

    Your pics were so cute!

  • AlliJag November 19, 2008, 11:16 am

    LOL – love the Office reference! 🙂

    Those family pics yesterday were too fun! 🙂 Glad you got to hang out with your dad – even if it did mean missing the run!

  • Julia (Santa Barbara Dreaming) November 19, 2008, 6:39 pm

    I am officially delurking to tell you I looooved your photos! Especially the photo of your baby junk with the smiley face sticker! hahaha! Thanks for sharing 😉

  • B_Hlthy November 19, 2008, 7:13 pm

    Hey Caitlin!
    I posted on my blog about fatty acids, since Flaxseeds are higher than Walnuts in sources of LNA and Omega-3’s!
    I thought you would be interested!

  • Alida November 21, 2008, 4:48 pm

    Great info! We have several nut recipes you can incorporate your favorites below. Enjoy!


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