Active Latest Issue Wellness

October 10, 2013 at 8:00 am

Go Nuts! The Ins and Outs of Healthy Snacking

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By: Catelyn Roth-Johnson

Finding a snack that’s both tasty and jam-packed with nutrition can be difficult. All too often we opt for the bag of chips because we don’t have access to fresh fruits and vegetables on campus. Nuts are a great snack alternative if you’re looking to fill up on protein, fiber and Omega-3 fatty acids, but it’s important to take into consideration their high calorie count. Use this pros and cons list to get the facts on your favorite nut.

Peanuts: Commonly linked with Cracker Jacks as a classic ballpark snack, these nuts have serious benefits. In just one cup of shelled peanuts there are 370 milligrams of potassium and about 20 percent of your daily dietary fiber. But make sure to not eat too many – this same cup of peanuts contains 56 percent of your recommended daily sodium intake.

Almonds: Only one cup of this teardrop-shaped nut contains around 20 grams of protein. That’s almost double the amount of protein found in a Cliff bar! To incorporate almonds into your diet, try swapping your two percent milk for a cup of almond milk. At around half the calories of regular milk, the only thing you’ll be sacrificing is a shorter expiration date.

Cashews: Although these tree nuts have a high fat-to-calorie ratio, cashews contain zero cholesterol, making this nut a great snack for those with heart problems. But again, don’t eat more than the suggested serving. Just one cup of this delicious kidney-shaped nut can cost you over 160 calories.

Chestnuts Yes, they can be roasted on an open fire, but did you know that chestnuts have only 69 calories per ounce? It may seem like the perfect on-the-go snack, but this nut’s downfall is that it only contains one gram of protein per ounce – that’s five grams less than the other nuts on this list! If you’re planning on chewing on these, make sure to pair your handful with a single serving of almond butter or a string cheese.