Nuts (even peanut butter) are very healthy. Surprisingly, they don’t appear to contribute to weight gain and may actually help facilitate weight loss. They also appear to protect against DNA damage, suppress cancer growth and inflammation, reduce cholesterol, and reduce the risk of abdominal aortic aneurysms and heart disease. Nuts are a preferred source of protein in an affordable plant-based diet. Nuts and seeds offer a healthy source of fat, which can boost the absorption of fat-soluable nutrients. Nuts are an excellent source of minerals (especially dry roasted) and vitamin E, which may have adverse effects taken in pill form. Their antioxidant content puts nuts as a group near the top of the list of healthy foods. This does not include betel nuts (which have been shown to be carcinogenic and damaging to liver and kidneys), nor necessarily chestnuts or coconuts. Coconut oil and coconut milk appear to raise one’s LDL (bad cholesterol) as much as butter. The dietary guidelines of countries such as Greece recommend nuts as snacks. The 2010 USDA Guidelines and MyPlate recommendations similarly emphasize a shift towards a more plant-based diet including nuts.
Topic summary contributed by Aaron.