Are Mixed Nuts Good for You?

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Mixed nuts are most certainly good for you. Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010 says that there is moderate evidence that eating peanuts and tree nuts such as almonds, pistachios and walnuts lowers risk of heart disease when part of a healthy diet. That said, there are slight differences in nutritional content in the various nut mixes, since each mix is made up of different proportions of nuts.

Small bowl of mixed nuts.
Small bowl of mixed nuts. (Image: andreipreda/iStock/Getty Images)

Types of Mixed Nuts

With or without peanuts is a common theme among mixed nut varieties. Even though peanuts are a legume, they're as good for your health as tree nuts. Deciding between mixed nuts with or without peanuts is a personal choice, since both options are healthy.

Most mixed nut combos are roasted either dry or with oil. The oil-roasted variety of nuts adds a little more flavor and crispness, along with a few extra calories.

You may also find mixed nuts with added ingredients such as salt or honey. To limit your intake of sodium and added sugar, look for nuts without these added ingredients.

Calories and Macronutrient Composition

There isn't much difference in the calorie, carb, protein and fat content when comparing mixed nuts with or without peanuts, or even dry- vs. oil-roasted. A 1-ounce serving of dry-roasted nuts with peanuts contains 166 calories, while the same serving of oil-roasted nuts, both with and without peanuts, contains 170 calories.

Carb content ranges from 6 to 7 grams with 2 to 3 grams of fiber per ounce in either type of mixed nut. You'll also find 14 to 15 grams of total fat and 5 to 6 grams of protein in the different types of nut mixes.

To control your calorie intake, limit your mixed nut portion size, and eat it in place of other protein foods like chicken or meat, as recommended by the dietary guidelines.

Comparing Vitamin Content

Due to the variation in vitamin content in different types of nuts, some nut mixes may be better sources of vitamins than others. For example, a dry-roasted nut mix with peanuts may not contain any vitamin E, while one that is oil-roasted or without peanut nuts may meet 10 percent to 11 percent of the daily value for vitamin E in a 1-ounce serving.

Most nut mixes contain a variety of B vitamins, including thiamin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, niacin, vitamin B-6 and folate, in varying amounts. Oil-roasted mixed nuts with peanuts are a good source of niacin, meeting 11 percent of the daily value. You need niacin for digestive and skin health and proper functioning of your nerves.

Rich in Minerals

Mineral content may vary among the different types of nut mixes, but most varieties meet more than 10 percent of the daily value of magnesium, phosphorus, copper and manganese.

Magnesium and phosphorus are two of the three major minerals found in your bones, and they help support bone health and strength. You need copper to make a variety of enzymes and help iron make hemoglobin. Manganese activates a number of enzymes that help with digestion and is an important antioxidant.

Oil-roasted nut mixes are also a good source of selenium, which is a trace mineral necessary for reproduction and making thyroid hormones.

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