Food & Nutrition
  • Brazil nuts

    Brazil nuts

    Larger than most nuts, the Brazil nut has an irregular, oblong shape, and tastes less crunchy and more meaty than others. They are great in a bowl of mixed nuts, toasted and chopped in salads, over green vegetables, and in pasta dishes.

  • Cashews


    Shaped like an apostrophe, cashews have a buttery, slightly sweet taste, delicious in sweets like smoothies and nut brittle. Roasted cashews add crunch to a stir-fry. If you like peanut butter, try cashew butter on banana slices.

  • Hazelnuts


    This small, round, mild-tasting nut is a key ingredient in chocolate candies and desserts. Their skins are slightly bitter, but easily removable after roasting by simply rubbing the nuts between your palms. Enjoy hazelnuts in salads, too.

  • Pecans


    Rich, buttery pecans are high in fat, making them highly perishable. Use them right away or freeze them. Pecans are great in pies, candies, and fruit salads, and in savory dishes such as pecan-crusted fish and brown rice or quinoa pilafs.

  • Pistachios


    This green nut is ripe when its tan shell is split. Discard those with closed shells. Dubbed the “skinny nut,” pistachios have four calories each. Coat chicken or fish with chopped pistachios, or add crunch to wild rice and other grains.

  • Walnuts


    Choose shelled walnuts that are plump and not rubbery to the touch. Fresh walnuts have a rich flavor that works well in dishes such as ravioli, barley pilaf, and chicken salad, as well as sweet dishes like poached pears and banana bread.

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Know Your Nuts

Six healthful nuts & some ways to use them

Wonder what’s the best nut to eat? That’s a trick question! Just as there is no best fruit or best vegetable, there is no nut that reigns supreme over all the other nuts; each has a unique taste, appearance, and nutritional profile. But it can be tricky to know which nut is which. Can you differentiate a Brazil nut from a hazelnut? Which should you toss into an Asian stir-fry: cashews or pecans? Click on to see how to identify different types of nuts, and what each is most suited to, from cooking to snacking. If you’re inspired to try a few new types, remember to store shelled nuts in the freezer. Because of their high fat content, unshelled nuts may go rancid in just a few weeks at room temperature. Whichever nuts you enjoy, always make sure to account for the totals in your meal plan.

Jill Weisenberger, MS, RD, CDE*, is the author of Diabetes Weight Loss Week by Week, contributing editor for Environmental Nutrition, and has written for many publications including EatingWell, Diabetic Living, Her Sports + Fitness, and LifeScript. Weisenberger is a paid contributor for The DX. All opinions contained in this article reflect those of the contributor, and not of Sanofi US, its employees, agencies, or affiliates.

*“Certified Diabetes Educator” and “CDE” are certification marks owned and registered by the National Certification Board for Diabetes Educators (NCBDE). NCBDE is not affiliated in any way with Sanofi US. NCBDE does not sponsor or endorse any diabetes-related products or services.

© 2014 The DX: The Diabetes Experience

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