Which nuts are better for your health?

HOUSTON – Research on people who eat nuts shows the snack may be helpful in controlling weight but some are better for you than others.

Dietitian Erin Gussler said the trick is to limit nuts to one handful at snack time.

“Most people don't want to get out measuring cups and things like that so I usually say a handful… not the claw, where it's overflowing, but a handful,” Gussler said.

Her favorite nuts are Brazil nuts for their disease-fighting attributes. These have more selenium than any other nut, a mineral important for thyroid function and reproduction.

“High doses of selenium can actually cause toxicity so I usually recommend if you are going to do a Brazil nut, three to six a day is the recommendation,” Gussler said.

Gussler said most nuts are great to get your micronutrients. In addition to protein, fiber and healthy fats, nuts also supply decent amounts of magnesium, potassium and vitamin E.

Almonds are the nuts highest in fiber. Gussler also loves cashews, which can help with eye health. Walnuts are a good source of omega 3. Plus, according to Consumer Reports, pistachios contain more potassium than half a banana!

Gussler said she dislikes clients eating peanuts.

“They have the potential to have a little bit more mold around that nut and then potentially you're eating some of that,” she said. “Immune-wise, the more stuff we add into our system that stimulates the immune system, it can make the immune system stay elevated and activated, and technically it's not even a nut. It's a legume.”