What I ate today was boring. I cross-trained. Super boring. I didn’t make it outside during the workday. BORING. You know what’s not boring? WALNUTS! Every time I eat some of these bite-size wonders, I’m amazed at how flavorful and delicious they are. So amazed, in fact, that I decided to dedicate an entire post to walnuts. Nutrition nerd in full effect.
Let’s start with fat. Yes, walnuts to contain fat. But it’s good fat! They are predominantly composed of polyunsaturated fatty acids (“PUFAs”), both omega-3 and omega-6s. Many other nuts contain predominantly monounsaturated fatty acids (“MUFAs”). What’s so great about the PUFAs in walnuts is that they contain a significant amount of the plant based source of omega-3 fatty acids. I’m sure you’ve heard a little about omega 3’s lately, and while the best source to get them from is cold water oily fish like salmon, herring, mackerel, anchovies and sardines, walnuts aren’t a bad option if you don’t like fish or want to add some variety to your diet.
Why are omega-3’s so great? Because they have been shown to benefit cardiovascular health, brain health, reduce joint pain and inflammation, to name a few.
Check out this information from the American Heart Association on eating fish high in omega 3’s
Back to walnuts. A one ounce serving of walnuts (about 14 halves) pack 185 calories, 18.5 grams of total fat ( 13.4 grams are PUFAs and 2.5 grams are MUFAs), 2 grams of fiber, 4 grams of protein and 10% of your daily value of magnesium and phosphorus. Whew – these little nuts are packed with great stuff! Since all of that good fat does contribute to the high calorie count of walnuts, one ounce is a good serving size to stick to.
Lately I’ve been really digging Trader Joe’s Go Raw Trek Mix. The mix contains raw walnuts, almonds, peanuts, cashews, hazelnuts and raisins and no added salt.
In case you need another reason to like nuts, they’ve also been shown to reduce “bad” LDL cholesterol and raise “good” HDL cholesterol levels.
I’m super excited for my run tomorrow morning in the nice, cool temps (finallly!). Good nights to all!
Question: What’s your favorite nut? (let’s face it, if you don’t like nuts you probably stopped reading this post long before this question) 🙂
Notes: Just a reminder that I’m not a nutrition expert (yet, I will be soon!). I gathered some of my wisdom on walnuts from the website www.walnuts.org. Clearly their prerogative is promoting walnuts, but the information is legit.