Nuts are high in fat compared to other plant foods. One ounce contains 13 to 20 grams of fat, depending on the variety. But nuts mostly contain monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which may benefit heart health.
Several large studies suggest that populations that regularly eat nuts have a lower risk of heart disease. Other research suggests that eating nuts in moderation as part of a healthful diet may reduce heart disease risk by helping to lower LDL (bad) cholesterol levels.
In addition to their "good" fats, nuts contain antioxidants and are naturally cholesterol-free. Many types are high in protein and good sources of fiber, B-vitamins and vitamin E. Some offer selenium, magnesium, omega-3 fatty acids and copper, too.
Although nuts may benefit health, their higher fat content means they're also high in calories—about 160 to 200 calories per ounce. So, if you're watching your weight, don't go too nuts with nuts. Enjoy a small handful daily in oatmeal, as a snack or sprinkled on a salad.