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Different nuts have different amounts of different fats. This study suggested that consumption of monounsaturated fat "provides cardiovascular benefits," and "is thought to improve insulin sensitivity."
The chart above is misleading in that it suggests that all nuts have the same amount of fat/serving, which they do not. Although as a group, they're similar:
Total fat in 1 ounce (about the size of 14 walnut halves, 23 almonds, 49 pistachios):
- Walnuts, 18.3g fat
- Brazil nuts, 18.6g fat
- Pecans, 20.2g fat
- Almonds, 13.8g fat
- Filberts (Hazelnuts), 17.2g fat
- Pistachios, 12.4 g fat (12.1% SFA, 52.4% MUFA, 30.6% PUFA) 1
- 1 oz. olive oil (2 tablespoons), 28.0 g fat, (13.9% SFA, 72.8% MUFA, 10.4% PUFA)
- 1 oz. flax seeds (4 tablespoons), 11.8 g fat (8.5% SFA, 17.8% MUFA, 67.8% PUFA)
- 1 oz. dry oatmeal (1/3 cup), 1.8 g fat (16.7% SFA, 33.3% MUFA, 33.3% PUFA)
- 1 oz. whole wheat bread (1 slice), 0.9 g fat (22% SFA, 49% MUFA, 22% PUFA)
- 1 medium banana, 0.4 g fat (25% SFA, <1% MUFA, 25% PUFA)
Dietary omega-3 fatty acids, precursors to anti-inflammatory compounds in our body, are polyunsaturated fats. Can you tell, just by looking at the chart above, which nut contains the most omega-3? 2 Flax seeds are also high in omega-3; note their higher PUFA content above. Although, if it's an improvement in the omega-3/omega-6 ratio you're after, reducing the amount of the more abundant omega-6 in the diet is a more effective solution. (Omega-6 fatty acids are also polyunsaturated fatty acids.)
In my opinion, some nuts are better than no nuts. But there's such a thing as too many nuts.