Harvard Health Letter

Let's go nuts

Nutritionally, nuts have a lot to offer, and they should figure more in our diets — and not just as snacks.

Nuts are dense little packages of fat and protein, with most of the fat being the healthful, unsaturated kind. They don't contribute much in the way of vitamins but make up for it by supplying respectable amounts of potassium, magnesium, and several other required minerals.

Dieters have tended to stay away from nuts because the fat content makes them a high-calorie food. It doesn't help that we tend to shovel them in as snacks, not as part of meals. But nuts contain very little carbohydrate, so they're showing up in low-carb diets these days, particularly the ones that emphasize plant-based foods.

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