Q. Are raw nuts better than roasted nuts?
A. There are only minor nutritional differences
between raw and roasted nuts, so enjoy
Nuts roasted in oil only contain around 5% more fat than
raw nuts. This is because roasted nuts actually absorb very
little of the oil they’re roasted in. And in terms of taste,
roasting nuts tends to add crunch and also brings out
more of their nutty flavour.
Nutrients (especially minerals), become more concentrated
during the roasting process as moisture is lost, meaning
that roasted nuts have less water and a higher
concentration of minerals. B group vitamins and Vitamin E
are not heat stable, so these are also reduced in roasted
nuts. Roasting can also cause the nut skins to fall off and
since they are a good source of fibre and antioxidant
compounds, consuming the skins is a good idea.
Q. Should I avoid nuts if I’m trying to lose
A. No, you don’t need to avoid nuts if you’re
trying to lose weight.
Eating a handful of nuts (30 grams) each day can actually
help you to maintain a healthy body weight. This is
thought to be because:
• Nuts contain nutrients which can help control appetite
such as healthy fats, fibre and protein. Healthy fats can
reduce our desire to eat by switching on some of the
satiety hormones in the intestines.
• Studies have found nut eaters excrete around 10%
more fat in their stools, meaning they are not absorbing
all the fat and energy from the nuts.
Q. How many nuts can I eat at one time?
A. Enjoy at least a handful of nuts every day.
You can eat nuts more than once a day, and
still reap numerous benefits.
We should all be aiming for at least one handful of nuts
each day. But there’s no reason why you cannot eat
more than one handful, as research suggests that around
two handfuls each day assists with cholesterol lowering
without affecting weight.
Q. Can I eat salted nuts?
A. We recommend unsalted nuts as your
everyday nut, saving salted nuts for special
occasions. But remember, eating some
salted nuts (as part of a healthy diet) is
probably better than eating no nuts at all!!!
Salted nuts contain all the nutrition and health benefits of
raw or roasted nuts – they just have a higher sodium (salt)
content. Salted nuts only contain around 1% added salt,
so in a 30g handful, that would equal approximately 0.3g
salt (or approximately 130mg sodium), in other words,
the salt contained in a handful of nuts is pretty small.
However, as a nation, we consume too much salt which in
turn can increase your risk of heart attacks and strokes.
Q. Can I eat nut butter?
A. Yes, you can eat and enjoy nut butters.
They still provide many of the benefits of
Research shows the main difference is that more fat is
absorbed from nut butters than whole nuts. This is because
fat is trapped in the fibrous structure of whole nuts,
with much of it being excreted from the body. Whereas
in butters and finely chopped nuts, the fat is no longer
‘trapped’ meaning more fat is available to be absorbed.
Nut butters are an excellent option for infants and
younger children, who are at risk of choking on whole
nuts, and the elderly or those with chewing difficulties.
Remember that nut butters can be very moreish, so always
opt for a nut butter with no added sugars, salt or oils.
Q. Do I need to eat activated nuts?
A. No, you don’t need to eat activated nuts.
Eating nuts regularly (activated or not),
is what is important.
Activated nuts are soaked in water (usually overnight).
The soaking is thought to break down some of the
proteins, starches, oils and other nutrients like phytates in
the nuts, seemingly making them more digestible.
There is very little evidence that activated nuts provide
any additional benefits. If you enjoy activated nuts, then
that’s great and you should definitely eat them, but you
will still receive health benefits from regularly eating
Q. What’s the best way to store nuts?
A. Keep nuts cool to keep them fresh.
To keep nuts in their best condition, store them in an
airtight container in the refrigerator or freezer. Nuts can
be refrigerated for up to 4 months and frozen for up to
Q. What are the health benefits of eating nuts?
A. There are loads of health benefits of eating
nuts. Eat a handful, every day.
Nuts are a nutrient dense food, rich in essential vitamins,
minerals, mono- and polyunsaturated fatty acids
(healthy fats), protein, fibre and phytochemicals.
All nuts are gluten free, naturally low in sodium and
contain no added sugars. Their unique combination of
nutrients is one possible reasons why they have been
linked to a whole host of health benefits, enhancing life
and reducing chronic disease risk.
Evidence shows that those who regularly eat nuts have a
reduced risk of: heart disease, type 2 diabetes, overweight
and obesity, cancer and depression.
Q. Can nuts affect my digestion?
A. Yes, nuts affect digestion and can help to
promote a healthier gut.
Consuming nuts may increase the growth of healthy
bacteria in your gut. Nuts act as foods (prebiotics) for the
bacteria (probiotics) in your gut. Nut skins in particular,
appear to play an important role in gut health since they
are rich in fibre and phytochemical compounds, with
antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. This may
cause healthy amounts of bloating and positively impact
your gut health. Remember, if you have been eating a diet
low in fibre, it’s best to introduce high fibre foods like nuts
gradually, so your body has time to adjust.
Q. Is it OK to eat nuts if I have diverticular disease?
A. Yes, you can still eat nuts (unless they
specifically cause discomfort).
Previous guidelines (from the 1990’s) recommended
to avoid nuts and seeds as part of the treatment for
diverticular disease. These guidelines have since changed
due to the results of several studies which showed no
association of nuts increasing the risk of diverticular
symptoms. Therefore, it is no longer recommended that
you avoid nuts, unless they cause particular discomfort.
Nuts are a valuable source of fibre, and fibre is helpful for