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How many almonds and walnuts should I eat a day?

Quick Answer

The recommended daily serving of nuts is around 1 ounce or a small handful. For almonds, this equals about 23 whole nuts. For walnuts, it’s about 14 half nutshells. Most health experts recommend eating 1-2 servings of nuts per day as part of a balanced diet. Nuts are nutritious, providing healthy fats, protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Eating a moderate amount of nuts may benefit heart health, weight management, and diabetes control. However, nuts are high in calories, so portion control is important. Excessive intake can lead to weight gain.

How Many Almonds Should I Eat Per Day?

The recommended daily amount of almonds is around 23 nuts or 1 ounce. This serving size contains:

  • Calories: 163
  • Fat: 14g
  • Protein: 6g
  • Carbs: 6g
  • Fiber: 4g

Some key nutrients and benefits of almonds:

  • Vitamin E – An antioxidant that supports immune function and healthy skin.
  • Magnesium – Helps regulate blood pressure and blood sugar.
  • Fiber – Improves digestion and supports heart health.
  • Plant-based protein – Provides satiety and sustains energy levels.
  • Healthy fats – Mainly monounsaturated fats that protect heart health.

Studies show that eating 1-2 servings (1-2 ounces or 23-46 nuts) of almonds per day can:

  • Lower LDL “bad” cholesterol and reduce heart disease risk.
  • Help manage blood sugar levels and reduce risk of type 2 diabetes.
  • Promote feelings of fullness and moderate calorie intake for weight management.

So for most healthy adults, 1-2 servings of almonds daily is a safe, beneficial amount as part of a balanced diet. Those with weight loss goals can stick to 1 serving or 23 nuts per day.

How Many Walnuts Should I Eat Per Day?

The standard daily serving for walnuts is around 14 halved nuts or 1 ounce. This provides:

  • Calories: 185
  • Fat: 18g
  • Protein: 4g
  • Carbs: 4g
  • Fiber: 2g

Some top nutrients and benefits of walnuts:

  • Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) – The plant-based omega-3 fat that promotes heart health.
  • Magnesium – Helps regulate blood pressure.
  • Fiber – Improves digestion and gut health.
  • Vitamin E – An antioxidant that fights cellular damage.
  • Plant-based protein – For energy, muscle building, and satiety.

Research demonstrates that eating 1-2 daily servings (1-2 ounces or 14-28 halves) of walnuts can:

  • Lower total and LDL “bad” cholesterol.
  • Reduce inflammation and oxidative stress.
  • Improve artery health and endothelial function.
  • Moderate appetite and promote weight management.

For most healthy people, eating 1 to 2 servings of walnuts per day provides health benefits without excess calories. Those limiting calories can stick to 1 serving or 14 halves daily.

Daily Recommendations

Here are some general daily nut recommendations based on your health goals:

For general health:

1-2 servings of nuts daily (1-2 ounces total). You can eat just almonds, just walnuts, or a mix. This provides a healthful dose of nutrients and benefits.

For weight loss:

1 serving of nuts daily (1 ounce total). Measure portions to limit excess calories. Drink water with nuts to increase fullness.

For heart health:

1-2 servings of walnuts daily (1-2 ounces). Walnuts are especially beneficial for promoting heart health.

For diabetes management:

1-2 servings of almonds daily (1-2 ounces). Almonds help stabilize blood sugar levels.

For high cholesterol:

1-2 servings of almonds and walnuts daily (1-2 ounces total). Both help lower LDL cholesterol.

Portion Control Tips

To keep portions of nuts in check:

  • Measure out 1 serving in advance so you don’t overeat directly from a large container.
  • Spread nuts into a single layer rather than eating directly from the bag.
  • Eat nuts slowly and mindfully to savor the flavors.
  • Drink water with nuts to increase feelings of fullness.
  • Store nuts in an airtight container out of sight if prone to overeating.

If following a calorie-controlled diet, avoid eating nuts directly before meals, which can decrease your appetite and lead to overeating at mealtimes.

Incorporating Nuts into Your Diet

There are many ways to enjoy your daily allotment of almonds and walnuts:

  • Eat them raw as a convenient snack.
  • Sprinkle chopped nuts onto salads or stir-fries.
  • Include nut butter on whole grain toast or apples.
  • Blend nuts into smoothies and shakes for extra nutrition.
  • Mix nuts into homemade granola bars and energy bites.
  • Use nut flour in place of regular flour for baked goods.
  • Top oatmeal, yogurt, or cereal with crunchy nuts.

Potential Downsides of Nuts

Nuts are very healthy, but there are some potential drawbacks to consider:

  • High in calories – Portion control is a must, especially for weight loss.
  • Allergies – Tree nuts and peanuts are among the most common food allergens.
  • Bloating – Some experience digestive discomfort when eating too many nuts.
  • Pesticides – Buy organic when possible to minimize chemical exposure.
  • Aflatoxins – Toxins that can contaminate poorly stored nuts.

Additionally, some nuts like almonds require more water to grow than other crops, so environmental impact should be considered.

The Bottom Line

1-2 servings of almonds and walnuts per day (around 1-2 ounces total) is a healthy amount to promote overall wellness. Nuts provide beneficial fats, plant-based protein, fiber and essential vitamins and minerals. Studies consistently show nuts support heart health, weight management, and blood sugar control. However, it’s important to stick to recommended portions and be mindful of your total calorie intake if trying to lose weight. Incorporate a variety of nuts into your diet to reap their versatile nutritional benefits.