What is a good substitute for nuts?

Marco Di Buono
Nutrition & Dietetics
Nuts, when consumed in moderation, can be a very healthy part of the diet. They provide protein, fiber and healthy fats -- all of which contribute to overall health.

A relatively good alternative to nuts, for those who have allergies or simply don't like the taste, is a type of legume commonly referred to as a pulse.

Pulses include lentils, dry beans (e.g.: kidney beans), chickpeas, lupins and many other varieties of legumes. What these foods have in common to nuts is a high protein and fiber content. But they don't provide a source of healthy fats so they do differ from nuts in that regard.
I think we first need to see what the purpose of eating nuts in your diet is.

Are you a vegetarian and eating nuts for protein? Are you eating nuts for the healthy fats?  Are you eating nuts for the nutrient content?

My response will simply be in regards to dietary fats. The majority of my coaching is based on recommending nuts that contain good healthy fats such as almonds or walnuts. I use nuts primarily as a fat source and will introduce it into peoples plans for the sake of some crunch, salt and satiety purposes.

So if you are looking for a substitute in fat may I suggest healthy oils or foods that naturally contain healthy oils such as salmon or others.

Why do you not want to eat nuts? Are you allergic? If so nut oils will probably not work but if not then things such as macadamia nut oil, walnut oil, olive oil, flaxseed oil and fish oils from oils or foods are great. Unsaturated fats generally come from oil but you can find them in certain fishes and avocados.

If saturated vs unsaturated does not bother you then cheese can be a good alternative.
Vandana  R. Sheth
Nutrition & Dietetics
Nuts provide numerous health benefits such as heart-healthy fats, protein, antioxidants, fiber, vitamins and minerals. Depending upon the reason for why you choose to avoid nuts, there can be different substitutes. For plant-based protein and fiber substitutes, enjoy beans and lentils in place of nuts. For heart-healthy fats, use olive oil, canola oil, soybeans, avocado, olives, flaxseeds. To enjoy as a snack in place of nuts, try dry, roasted soybeans and chickpeas or sunflower seeds.
If you are allergic to nuts there are good substitutes such as olives, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and avocados and are all excellent sources of the nutrients, including unsaturated fats, that nuts are famous for. Nuts are usually high in many nutrients, fat and protein. Anything with an edible kernel and hard shell is defined as a nut. This includes true nuts like chestnuts and acorns, but also things such as seeds, like Brazil nuts, or legumes, like peanuts.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.