What Food Group Are Nuts In? [FOOD Pyramid]

what food group are nuts inSome foods seem to trick and confuse people when they are asked to figure out what food group they belong to. Nuts are definitely one of those “hard to classify” foods.  I’ve got all of the facts here to help demystify for you.

So, what food groups are nuts in anyway?

Nuts are included in the protein group. This group includes meat, poultry, seafood, nuts, and seeds among some other various products.

Many people know about the meats that are included but overlook the proteins within nuts, seeds, and other foods like eggs or soy products.

Nuts have a lot of interesting qualities that make them a great food to eat and a hard food to classify. Here is some information that set nuts apart from other foods.

Nuts and Their Food Group

Nuts are a great source of protein, one of the most popular food groups to talk about today.

These foods are great for the energy they provide and come with a lot of nutrients as well.

That makes the protein group one of the most important food groups to make sure that you have covered. These foods help you do so many things and that means that nuts should be a fairly regular part of your diet.

Whether you are snacking on them by themselves or if you are eating a mixture of foods such as a trail mix, getting protein regularly is important, and getting your protein from nuts is a great way to do so.

Benefits of Eating Proteins

There are tons of benefits that an individual gets from eating proteins.

As a matter of fact, when someone starts to work out regularly and really tries to “get in shape”, it’s often noted that the person needs to eat more protein. While many people trying to lose weight focus on calories, experts know that protein is an extremely important part of building muscle and even losing fat.

With that being said, here are some of the best benefits of eating proteins.

#1. Reduce Your Hunger

This is why people love protein for those trying to get in shape and build muscle and lose fat.

Most diets get out of whack by eating too many fats and carbs. Protein is usually a better option because you feel more full after eating them, and the protein that you ate is going to give you more nutrients than the empty calories that are found in carbs, for example.

Fats can be worse for even more reasons too if you don’t understand the varieties of fasts and their complexities.

#2. Gain Muscle Mass

For most people, the formula only goes as far as “Protein = Muscle”. If you are interested in gaining strength whether it is for personal reasons, for work, or for athletic purposes, adding protein to your diet is the best way to complement the workouts you are doing.

While of course, it is going to be considered to be important to lift weights, stay physically active, and have a balanced diet; those efforts will be hindered if your body is not getting enough protein.

This also applies to those losing weight.

Sometimes losing weight can be done in a dangerous way, or if not dangerous it may not be the best way. People start to lose muscles as they lose weight; but if your protein intake is up to par, you shouldn’t have as much muscle loss.

#3. Bone Strength

If you ask anyone on the street what food is good for their bones, they’ll probably reply with one word, “Milk”.

Sure, milk is a great option to build bone strength, but you can’t build a diet on milk alone.

However, if you ask some people they will say that protein takes away from your bone strength which is not true. Protein, as it turns out, is actually great for your bones, especially in the long-term.

Even for older people, protein still helps maintain bone strength and it really should be given more credit in this arena.

Women who are interested in getting more protein, as well as more iron, should utilize nuts more often in their diet. These nuts like cashews or sunflower seeds are a great way to get the nutrients they need and they are a tasty snack as well.

#4. Stick to the Meals You Want

Nuts are great because they give your body a snacking option that is still healthy. Protein is great for your body because it helps you reduce the craving for foods that are unhealthy when you want a reward.

Together, nuts and regular proteins are going to keep your diet on track. You’re much less likely to binge on a chocolate ice cream sundae if you are satisfied with what you’ve eaten and if you have a healthy snacking alternative.

There was a study performed on overweight men who were eating more protein in their diet, and that study reported that they had less than half of the cravings that they normally do.

Protein is basically like adding willpower on to your diet which is an incredible boost to morale and health.

#5. Good For Your Metabolism

Protein boosts your metabolism much more than other foods do, especially when compared to fats.

If you think about it, this seems to make a lot of sense. If you’ve just eaten a healthy meal of meat and nuts as well as some vegetables, think about how you may feel as opposed to how you feel after you eat a bunch of ice cream.

While the way you feel is one thing, it also helps with calorie burn. Eating a lot of protein before a workout is a great way to replace all of the “bad” in your body with some amazing “good”.

Of course, you’ll need to workout regularly and stay active daily to see the best results; but most people are using protein as a way to boost their workouts and get the most out of each step they take.

#6. Better Blood Pressure

Of course, high blood pressure is the cause of a lot of diseases such as heart attacks or kidney disease. Protein has been found to not only lower blood pressure, but it reduces LDL cholesterol which is the bad kind.

While you may need to monitor the exact foods you’re eating, in general protein is going to help keep your blood pressure down.

#7. Keep Your Weight Down

As mentioned, everything that protein does for you helps to keep your weight down. Eating nuts for a snack will help cravings go away and protein can actually help people stick to calorie reductions.

Because proteins have so much to offer and keep you so full, it’s a lot easier to take in less of the empty calories that carbs offer.

With that being said, cashews or other nuts make keeping your weight down easy and will keep you feeling healthy even after a big weight drop.

 

Are Nuts a Fruit Or Vegetable?

Are nuts a fruit or vegetable

While we know that nuts are in the protein group, it’s interesting to note that there are often people who ask whether nuts are technically classified as a fruit or a vegetable.

Vegetables and fruits are classified in two specific ways. They can be classified on their botanical structure (how they grow) or by their culinary classification (how they taste).

If you look at the botanical structure, fruits grow from flowers of plants and have seeds that allow them to reproduce. Vegetables are basically the opposite of that, they are any other part of the plant like the stems or leaves.

If you judge fruits by their culinary classification, you have to go on taste. Fruits generally taste sweet or tart and are commonly seen in dessert foods. Vegetables are more often seen in stews or soups or salads.

The real answer here is that nuts are classified as fruit due to how they grow. While they may not fit in the classic answer of what a “fruit” is, the fact is that they have a single edible seed with an inedible outer shell.

What Are Nuts in The Food Pyramid?

What are nuts in the food pyramid

Nuts are currently classified in the protein section of the Food Pyramid. This puts them in the same category as meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and beans.

While that may not seem like a natural fit, nuts do offer a lot of benefits that those other foods do.

They’re a great source of protein, especially for those who want to count macros in their diets.

You need to have more proteins than carbs and fat to have an effective diet that will help you build muscle and lose weight, and nuts are a food that can help you do that effectively -albeit you must exercise portion control and not overdo your nut consumption.

Although nuts are classified as a “fruit” by their botanical description, they do not fit in that section of the Food Pyramid.

Chris Watson

I'm the founder of EatForLonger.Com. I'm an enthusiast researching and sharing foodstuff and lifestyle based insights. Simple food based concepts for optimising your Healthspan, nutrition and all-round well-being. I hope it inspires you to make tiny changes and add some life to your years. Read more About Me here

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