Nuts are nutritional powerhouses are packed with heart-healthy fats, protein, vitamins, and minerals. Nuts are high in fat and calories, so while a handful can hold you over until dinner, a few more handfuls can ruin your appetite altogether. Although nuts are a healthy choice by themselves, they’ll quickly become detrimental to any diet when paired with sugary or salty toppings or mixes. Mix of omega-3 fatty acids, protein, and fiber in nuts will help you feel full and suppress your appetite.
- Best Nuts. The lowest-calorie nuts having 160 per ounce are almonds (23 nuts; 6 grams protein, 14 grams fat); cashews (16 to 18 nuts; 5 grams protein, 13 grams fat); and pistachios (49 nuts; 6 grams protein, 13 grams fat)
- Worst Nuts. Nuts having highest amount of fats for an ounce are macadamia nuts (10 to 12 nuts; 2 grams protein, 21 grams fat) and pecans (18 to 20 halves; 3 grams protein, 20 grams fat) and they have the most calories i.e. 200 each. These are still good nuts as long as you’re practicing proper portion control.
Dried Plums. Dried plums contain nutrients, including important vitamins and minerals, including magnesium, boron, potassium, copper and vitamin K. Dried plums are a way to help support healthy bones. Bone loss may lead to fractures or osteoporosis. The fiber-rich dried plums favorably impacts blood sugar and appetite-regulating hormones. A study in the journal “Appetite” found that subjects who snacked on dried plums experienced a greater degree of satiety than when they ate the same number of calories in the form of low-fat cookies.
Apricot. With low fat and plenty of fiber, apricots are packed with ample doses of other essential vitamins. Consumed in both fresh as well as dried form, apricots are available in canned and dried form all around the world throughout the year. These contain Calcium, Potassium, Phosphorus, Vitamin A, Iron, and Vitamin C. Apricot can be a great food that provides you with the protective effects of antioxidants while adding very few calories to your daily total. Consuming half a cup of apricots daily keeps you flawless inside out.
Pumpkin Seeds. The seeds are concentrated sources of many health-benefiting vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidants, and essential amino-acids such as tryptophan, and glutamate. Tryptophan is converted into serotonin and niacin. Serotonin is a beneficial neuro-chemical often labeled as nature’s sleeping pill. Glutamate is required in the synthesis of gamma-amino butyric acid (GABA). GABA, an anti-stress neurochemical in the brain, helps reducing anxiety, nervous irritability, and other neurotic conditions.
Pumpkin Seeds are high in calories; about 559 calories per 100 g. In addition, they are packed with fiber, vitamins, minerals, and numerous health promoting antioxidants. The kernels are especially rich in mono-unsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) like oleic acid that helps lower bad LDL cholesterol and increases good HDL cholesterol in the blood.
Dark Chocolate. Dark chocolate contains polyphenols, a powerful type of antioxidant that is also found in foods like berries, green and black tea, and red wine. These polyphenols help to defend the body’s cells against free radicals from environmental toxins and diseases, including heart disease, cancer, and chronic inflammation. In fact, chocolate contains more phenolic antioxidants than any other food.