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What Are the Different Low-Fat Nuts?

By T. Carrier
Updated May 16, 2024
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The nut is a plant fruit that usually possesses a hard shell and a hard texture. While these foods are generally more useful in low carbohydrate diets, some varieties of nuts may be considered low-fat foods as well. Pistachios and cashews have the lowest fat content of the major nuts, while almonds are low in damaging saturated fat. Peanuts have lower-than-average fat percentages as well. Even low-fat nuts, however, tend to possess a relatively high overall fat count of over 12 grams (0.4 ounces) per 28 gram (or 1 ounce) serving.

Cashews are comma-shaped nuts that generate from cashew trees. These nuts also have the distinction of holding one of the lowest fat counts of any nut at around 12 to 14 grams (about 0.4 to 0.5 ounces) per serving. Much of the fat that is contained in cashews is healthy fat, however, which increases its appeal as a low-fat diet food. Specifically, the monounsaturated fat oleic acid comprises most of cashew fat. This substance can actually help reduce blood fat levels in many cases, providing another positive for eating low-fat nuts like cashews.

Another nut type validated by both its relatively low fat content and its support from medical organizations is the pistachio. Like cashews, pistachios also range in the lower teens for overall gram fat content. In addition, these green low-fat nuts are frequent options in medically approved diets that control blood pressure and other conditions that stem from a high fat intake. Further, several organizations, like the United States Food and Drug Administration, have given pistachios a qualified positive rating, meaning that the substance is believed to be healthy based on available scientific evidence. Increased proof is desired by such organizations before they officially support a product, however.

Almonds have a slightly higher fat amount than the aforementioned nuts, but they are still mostly low-fat nuts when put alongside other nut types. Of the fat grams contained in almonds, roughly two-thirds consist of monounsaturated fat. This is the healthy fat found in substances like olive oil. In addition, pine nuts are sometimes edible and have a similar fat content as almonds, although saturated fat and unsaturated fat ratios are slightly more equal.

Some diets also recommend ingesting a handful of low-fat nuts before any meal to accelerate weight loss. Peanuts in particular are often used for this purpose. Unsalted peanuts and boiled peanuts do possess one of the lower fat counts of comparable nuts, and they are also low in fat-associated cholesterol and sodium.

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