Mixed nuts are common snacks for a party or a bar, but unlike many other salty foods, mixed nuts can be quite healthy. Mixed nuts are rich in a wide array of important nutrients, ranging from unsaturated fat to magnesium. Not all mixed nut varieties will provide the exact same health benefits, so check product labels when available.
Low in Carbohydrates
If you are limiting your carbohydrate intake, it can be difficult to find snacks that fit into your diet. Most convenient snack foods, such as pretzels and potato chips, are high in carbohydrates. Mixed nuts provide just 7 grams of carbohydrates in each 1-ounce serving, so this food can be a good choice when on a low-carbohydrate diet.
Rich in Fiber
Although mixed nuts are low in carbohydrates, a significant portion of the carbohydrates come from dietary fiber. Each 1-ounce serving of mixed nuts contains about 3 grams of this nutrient, which helps stabilize your blood sugar levels, induce feelings of fullness and promote a healthy digestive system. A report from Harvard School of Public Health states that eating nuts several times a week may lower your risk of heart disease and cardiac death.
Rich in Calories
Mixed nuts are a rich source of calories, providing 168 in each 1-ounce serving. If you're trying to gain weight or muscle, high-calorie foods are good choices. Additionally, high-calorie foods such as mixed nuts can be good snacks if you're hiking or engaging in other strenuous, calorie-burning activities. Unlike other foods, mixed nuts don't need to be refrigerated, so they can be convenient and portable.
Rich in Unsaturated Fat
Mixed nuts are calorie-dense because of the high fat content. Each 1-ounce serving of mixed nuts provides about 15 grams of fat, with about 13 grams coming from unsaturated fat. Unsaturated fats are healthier than saturated fats, as the latter type promotes an increased risk of heart disease. Your body needs unsaturated fats to aid in vitamin absorption, provide energy and promote healthy growth and development.
High in Magnesium and Zinc
Mixed nuts are a good source of magnesium, an essential mineral. Magnesium aids in the regulation of your blood pressure and blood sugar levels and plays a role in maintaining the function of your nerves, muscles and heart. Mixed nuts are a good source of zinc, a nutrient that aids in immune health, growth and development and reproductive health.
Low in Sodium
Mixed nuts are low in sodium, which is not common for snack foods. While sodium does provide flavor and some is required for your health, too much sodium can promote water retention and high blood pressure. When choosing nuts, look for fresh nuts or a can of mixed that does not contain added salt.
- USDA National Nutrient Database: Nuts, Mixed Nuts, Dry Roasted, With Peanuts, Without Salt Added
- National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute: Your Guide to Physical Activity and Your Heart
- Harvard School of Public Health: Nuts for the Heart
- MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia: Dietary Fats Explained
- National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements; Dietary Supplement Fact Sheet: Magnesium
- Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University: Zinc
- American Diabetes Association: Cutting Back on Sodium