Eating a handful of nuts a day may reduce your risk of heart disease, according to the Food and Drug Administration. Walnuts are particularly nutritious, providing a healthy dose of omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin E. Walnuts, however, are a concentrated source of calories, and you should moderate your intake to prevent excessive calorie consumption. Knowing their nutrition information can help you determine how to fit walnuts into your diet.
Serving Size and Calories
Serving sizes are standardized to help you compare similar food products, according to the Food and Drug Administration. The calories in a food item indicate the amount of energy it provides. A 1-ounce serving of walnuts, which equals about 14 walnut halves, contains 185 calories. One handful of nuts is also equals to about 1 ounce.
Each 1-ounce serving of walnuts contains 4.3 grams of protein. Healthy women need 46 grams of protein a day, which means that a serving of walnuts is about 9 percent of that goal. As a plant-based food, the protein found in walnuts does not provide you with all of the essential amino acids, making it an incomplete source of protein. However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that most Americans get more than enough protein in their diets.
Each 1 ounce serving of walnuts contains 4 grams of carbohydrates and 2 grams of fiber. Fiber in food helps to improve digestion, alleviates constipation and aids in hunger control, according to the Mayo Clinic. Healthy women need 25 grams of fiber a day, so a serving of walnuts provides 8 percent of that goal.
One ounce of walnuts contains 18.5 grams of total fat, 1.7 grams of saturated fat, 2.5 grams of monounsaturated fat, 13 grams of polyunsaturated fat and 2.5 grams of omega-3 fatty acids. Including foods high in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats can help lower blood cholesterol levels. In addition, the omega-3 fatty acids found in walnuts can improve blood vessel health and help lower blood pressure.
Vitamins and Minerals
Walnuts contain a number of essential vitamins and minerals, including vitamin E, B vitamins and magnesium. Vitamin E is an important antioxidant that protects cell membranes from free radical damage. The B vitamins help to convert the food you eat into energy. Magnesium is a mineral that helps to regulate your blood pressure.
- walnuts image by OMKAR A.V from Fotolia.com
This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.