Nuts, Vegetable Spreads & Cooking Oils.

Raw Nuts are very healthy foods, high in fibre and very nutritious.

If you are over weight, the main concern with nuts and all foods high in vegetable fat is in the number of calories. 100g of most nuts is about 600 calories or ¼ of an adult males daily needs & more for a female.

Diabetics should also consider the amount of saturated fat in some nuts.

Processed nuts (packed or tinned) are not just cooked nuts they can have less healthy 'added extras', like salt and palm oil - so check the ingredients.


Fat in Nuts

Nuts are a mixture of fats commonly polyunsaturated fat and monounsaturated fat with some saturated fat.

Nuts high in Monounsaturated Fat %

Brasil Nuts and Selenium.

Don't exclude brazil nuts from your diet, one or two a day are a great source of selenium! 2 Brazils (5-6g) supply more than your total daily need of selenium, so don't over do it!

Meat, Fish, Eggs, Grains and Cheese give more too!

Nuts High in Saturated Fat

Saturated fat is not only found in animal fats, some nuts are also high in saturated fat, so don't include too many of them in your diet (especially coconut).
Nuts High in Saturated Fat %

Raw or Roasted?

Typically pre-packed roasted nuts may have added salt and other ingredients, so take care.

Roasting like many cooking processes may also make roasted nuts more easily digestible. To be fair though, I have seen no figures either way if the sugar absorption rates are changed by roasting.

In my (non medical) opinion though raw nuts are a safer bet and also avoid the extra fat & salt added when roasting.

External Links

  1. Nuts & Seeds the Best Bet Diet. A lot of nutritional information on this page.
  2. Carbohydrates in Nuts
Vegetable Fats & NutsSugar Absorption RateNotes

Slow to Very Slow Nuts in general are have slow to very slow conversion to blood sugar. The high fat content slowing the sugar absorption rate.
Brazil Nuts
Brazil Nuts
Slow to Very Slow Often used as a supplement for extra Selenium. They are quite high in Saturated Fat (16%).
CashewSlow Moderately high in Saturated Fat (9%). Also has quite a high carbohydrate content for a nut.
CoconutUnknown Coconut tops the saturated fat list with 29% Saturated Fat. The fat when processed is also known as a tropical oil.
HazelnutSlowA good source of Monounsaturated Fat.
Palm OilVery Slow Another tropical oil (like coconut) and high in saturated fat. Oat Cakes typically use this making an otherwise fairly healthy food into a source of saturated fat.
Raw red skinned peanuts
Slow to Very Slow Probably the cheapest of all nuts in the UK. Raw peanuts still in there skins (with more fibre) having the slowest conversion to blood sugar.

For anyone interested by the way peanuts are classified as a legume. Legume's are typically a bean or a pea but peanut's have so much fat I have included them here.

Peanut Butter Slow A processed product with added sugar and often with added palm oil (high in Saturated Fat) its wise to check the sugar content.

Some brands also contain Hydrogenated Fat, UK labeled foods usually show this, EU labeled (Lidl/Aldi supermarkets) don't.

Products I have seen range from 3-7% sugar with the 3% organic version more than twice the normal price!

Vegetable Cooking Oils Very Slow Much better than animal fat cooking oil's like butter and lard but equally high in calories. Olive oil is probably the best substitute for frying - but I have never tried it for deep fat frying.
Vegetable SpreadsVery Slow Preferred spread to butter but equally high in fat and calories (vegetable fat rather than saturated animal fat though). Avoid margarines too which are high in another fat thats wise to avoid - hydrogenated fat.

Try half or low fat versions. Sunflower and Olive oil (very high in monounsaturated fat) spreads & cooking oils may also have some benefits for the heart.

Slow to Very Slow Walnuts are also a source of Omega 3 fat which is good for the heart.

Nuts: Calories, Carbohydrate, Protein, Fats, Fibre & Sodium Content.

As shown on the UK label (Asda is part of the Walmart Group).

Nut.Calories in 100g (3½oz)Protein Carbohydrate
Total Fat
Roasted Cashews with Sea Salt & Black Pepper coating (Aldi - May 2005) 57920% 19.0%
Roasted Salted Peanuts (Asda 2005/6) 61728% 7.0%
Roasted Salted Peanuts (Sainsbury's Basics 2013) ingredients peanuts(95%), sunflower oil, salt. 60926.3% 13.9%
Redskin Peanuts (Asda 2005/6) 58924% 13%

 * In the UK fibre is not included in with the carbohydrate figures.
** Multiple the Sodium value by 2.5 to get the Salt equivalent.