You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Are Almonds Even Good For You?

Women's Health logo Women's Health 9/11/2018 Jessica Migala

a pile of fruit: Almonds are totally good for you, right? Here's the lowdown on almond nutrition, benefits, and what actually is a healthy serving size of these heart-healthy nuts. © Altayb - Getty Images Almonds are totally good for you, right? Here's the lowdown on almond nutrition, benefits, and what actually is a healthy serving size of these heart-healthy nuts. Almonds are like,really good for you, right? So it's totally cool that you just ate that whole bag of nuts while watching Grey's?

Well...it's not terrible, but those lil' suckers still add up. A serving of almonds is just one to one and a half ounces, says Grace Derocha, a registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.

Yeah, that's just 23 nuts to 40 nuts. Uh, how many were in that bag again?

Still: Don't feel guilty because almond nutrition is legit.

You're getting a hell of a lot of nutrients and health benefits when you scarf down a bag of nuts. Here's the nutritional breakdown per ounce:

  • Calories: 164
  • Protein: 6 g
  • Fat: 14 g (1 g sat fat)
  • Carbohydrate: 6 g
  • Fiber: 3.5 g
  • Sugars: 1 g
  • Sodium: 0 mg

Notice that each serving packs in a pretty decent serving of protein, along with 14 percent of your daily recommended intake of fiber. (While def tasting better than a creepy fiber bar...)

Almonds also have a lot of benefits for your bod.

“Almonds are rich in monounsaturated fatty acids, a heart-healthy type of fat,” says Derocha. TL;DR monounsaturated fatty acids help lower LDL cholesterol (the bad kind that clogs arteries) while also raising your HDL cholesterol-a serious win for your heart.

Almonds can even help you lose weight-or just keep it in check-thanks to their healthy fats and filling protein and fiber. Studies show that eating about one and a half ounces of almonds in lieu of a carb-rich muffin snack can help reduce belly fat and improve cholesterol. Research also shows that because almonds are so filling, eating them helps limit calorie consumption later in the day, per the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Other major almond benefits include lower inflammation in the body and healthier weight during pregnancy. Not too shabby.

What if I want more nuts than that?

If an ounce of almonds is too small a serving (I was thinking it, too), consider pistachios. They have a lot of the same health benefits, but you get 49 kernels in a one-ounce serving for 159 calories. Buy them with the shell on and you’ll have a small mountain-sized pile on your desk. The visual cue of discarded pistachio shells can tune you into how much you just ate, according to a study in the journal Appetite.

If you're firmly devoted to eating almonds, it may help keep portions in check if you use almonds as a garnish to enhance your overnight oats or add crunch to a salad, rather than getting sad over the measured out ounce in your hand.

And seriously, it's not wise to go ham on your almonds. Remember how they’re a good source of fiber? Overeat almonds and your GI system may have a tough time processing a sudden spike in roughage, says Derocha. (Hello, gas.)

The bottom line: Almonds (and other nuts) are really good for you-as long as you watch that portion size.

AdChoices
AdChoices

More from Women's Health

Women's Health
Women's Health
image beaconimage beaconimage beacon