5 Best Nuts for Weight Loss (+10 Snack Ideas)

It’s time to unveil the best nuts for weight loss, including their nutritional values and my dietitian tips for how to incorporate them wisely.

Today, we’re cracking the code on the best nuts for weight loss. Discover why walnuts, almonds, cashews, pistachios, and peanuts made the cut and how their unique fats can aid your weight loss journey.

I’ll cover portion control, pairing strategies, and clever ways to integrate these powerhouse nuts into your meals for an extra boost of protein, fiber, and healthy fats. These tiny powerhouses have a lot to offer, but I have a few key dietitian tips that you should consider.

Are Nuts High in Calories and Fat?

To start, all nuts are high in calories because they’re high in healthy fats. And fat has more calories per gram than carbohydrates and protein. We all need fat to survive, but it needs to be the right type and amount for successful weight loss.

You may have heard of polyunsaturated fat like omega-3s, monounsaturated fat, and saturated fat. Almonds, for instance, are rich in monounsaturated fats. This is a good type of fat and targets stubborn belly fat.

Why Macadamia Nuts Don’t Make the Cut

On the other hand, macadamia nuts didn’t make my list because they are higher in calories and saturated fat, which may make your weight loss efforts more difficult.

One ounce (10-12 nuts) of dry roasted macadamia nuts contains:

  • 204 calories
  • 2 grams of protein
  • 22 grams of fat
  • 17 grams monounsaturated
  • 1 grams polyunsaturated
  • 4 grams of saturated fat
  • 4 grams of carbohydrates
  • 2 grams of fiber

Protein Content in Nuts

As a dietitian, I never talk about weight loss without talking about protein. You’ll need about an ounce of each of my top picks to get 6-7 grams of protein. For reference, 23 almonds is an ounce. This won’t cut it for your weight loss protein needs for a meal, but it can be your starting point. More on that in a bit.

To add to this, these nuts also contain about 3g of fiber per ounce, which helps with feelings of fullness.

Top 5 Best Nuts for Weight Loss

So considering these factors, my dietitian top 5 picks for the best best nuts for weight loss are….drum roll please:

  1. Walnuts
  2. Almonds
  3. Cashews
  4. Pistachios
  5. Peanuts

Let’s highlight a little bit about each nut and why they made my top list.

1. Walnuts

These nuts pack in omega-3 fatty acids, which are beneficial for weight loss due to their anti-inflammatory properties. Inflammation can impact metabolism and insulin resistance.

One ounce of dry roasted walnuts contains:

  • 180 calories
  • 4 grams of protein
  • 17 grams of fat
    • 12.5 grams of polyunsaturated fat
    • 2 grams of monounsaturated fat
    • 1.5 grams of saturated fat
  • 5 grams of carbohydrates
    • 2 grams of fiber

2. Almonds

As mentioned before, almonds play a role in reducing belly fat and have been associated with improved weight management when consumed in moderation.

One ounce (22 almonds) of dry roasted almonds contains:

  • 170 calories
  • 6 g of protein
  • 15 g of fat
    • 4 g of polyunsaturated fat
    • 10 g of monounsaturated fat
    • 1 g of saturated fat
  • 6 g of carbohydrates
    • 3 g of fiber

3. Cashews

While relatively lower in fat content compared to other nuts, cashews provide healthy fats.

One ounce of dry roasted cashews contains:

  • 163 calories
  • 4 g protein
  • 13 g fat
    • 2 g polyunsaturated fat
    • 8 g monounsaturated fat
    • 3 g saturated fat
  • 9 grams carbohydrates
    • 1 g fiber

4. Pistachios

Pistachios offer healthy fats for heart health, which is often a comorbidity with excess weight. They also contain fiber and antioxidants.

One ounce (49 shelled pistachios) of dry roasted pistachios contains:

  • 162 calories
  • 6 g of protein
  • 13 g of fat
    • 4 g of polyunsaturated fat
    • 7 g of polyunsaturated fat
    • 2 g of saturated fat
  • 8 grams of carbohydrates
    • 3 g of fiber

5. Peanuts

And last but not least, peanuts: Even though these are actually a legume, they are paired with other nuts in my book. They also offer monounsaturated fats that can aid in satiety.

One ounce of dry roasted peanuts contains:

  • 166 calories
  • 7 g of protein
  • 14 g of fat
    • 3 g of polyunsaturated fat
    • 8 g of monounsaturated fat
    • 2 g of saturated fat
  • 6 g of carbohydrates
    • 2.5 g of fiber

How to Include Nuts for Weight Loss

Now how can these tiny guys work into your weight loss plan? I have a few tips:

  1. Treat them as snacks, and don’t dive into that bag endlessly.
  2. Pair them with higher-protein foods like sliced roast beef or turkey, Greek yogurt with a touch of honey, or sprinkled over a salad.
  3. Reduce to half an ounce and use as a topping. Toss them into your morning oatmeal for an extra protein, fiber, and healthy fat boost.

10 Snack Ideas to Enjoy These 5 Top Nuts

Here are 10 snack ideas for weight loss incorporating almonds, walnuts, peanuts, cashews, or pistachios. Pair with an additional protein source to meet daily protein needs.

  1. Mixed Nut Trail Mix: Combine a variety of nuts with some dried fruits and seeds for a satisfying trail mix. Portion control is key, so measure out a small serving to avoid overeating.
  2. Greek Yogurt Parfait: Layer plain Greek yogurt with a handful of nuts, a drizzle of honey, and some fresh berries. This combination provides protein, healthy fats, and antioxidants.
  3. Nut Butter and Banana Sandwich: Spread almond or peanut butter on whole-grain bread and add banana slices. This snack is a good source of fiber, healthy fats, and potassium.
  4. Roasted Nut Medley: Roast a mix of almonds, walnuts, peanuts, cashews, and pistachios with a sprinkle of your favorite spices like cinnamon or cayenne pepper. Roasting enhances flavor without the need for extra oil.
  5. Vegetable Sticks with Nut Hummus: Make a nutritious hummus using nuts (like almond or cashew) and serve it with carrot, cucumber, and bell pepper sticks. It’s a crunchy, satisfying snack with a good balance of nutrients.
  6. Nutty Energy Bites: Blend nuts with dates, cocoa powder, and a touch of honey. Roll the mixture into small balls for a quick, energy-boosting snack.
  7. Pistachio and Dark Chocolate Combo: Mix shelled pistachios with small portions of dark chocolate chips for a sweet and savory treat. The combination satisfies your sweet tooth while providing healthy fats.
  8. Nutty Oatmeal: Sprinkle chopped nuts on top of a bowl of oatmeal. This adds a delightful crunch and boosts the nutritional content of your breakfast.
  9. Peanut Butter and Apple Slices: Spread peanut butter on apple slices for a tasty and satisfying snack. The natural sweetness of the apple complements the nutty flavor.
  10. Cashew and Berry Delight: Mix cashews with a variety of fresh berries like strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries. You can add a touch of sweetness with a drizzle of honey or a sprinkle of cinnamon. This snack is rich in antioxidants, fiber, and healthy fats from the cashews.

Remember to be mindful of portion sizes, as nuts are energy-dense. Including a variety of nuts in your diet can provide a range of nutrients and help you stay satisfied while working towards your weight loss goals.

These nuts aren’t a magic pill for weight loss. It’s about how they fit into your overall diet and lifestyle. And that, my friends, is it in a nutshell for the best nuts for weight loss!

If you’re looking for more weight loss guidance, book a free 20 minute call with me today.


  1. FoodData Central. Accessed January 26, 2024. https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/170179/nutrients
  2. FoodData Central. Accessed January 26, 2024. https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/170594/nutrients
  3. FoodData Central. Accessed January 26, 2024. https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/170158/nutrients
  4. FoodData Central. Accessed January 26, 2024. https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/170571/nutrients
  5. FoodData Central. Accessed January 26, 2024. https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/170185/nutrients
  6. FoodData Central. Accessed January 26, 2024. https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/173806/nutrients

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