Nutritive Value

The form of fruits that we know as nuts has a very different place in diet from that of the ordinary fruit. We find here foods having a nutritive value that compares favorably with that of the most nutritious substances. Almond kernels for instance contain twenty-one per cent of proteid. fifty-four of fat. and seventeen of carbohydrates, while peanuts are richer still in proteid and also contain a large amount of fat. Indeed, nuts often may well be substituted for meat, and have the advantage that they supply at the same time a certain amount of carbohydrates. Some nuts, as chestnuts, are very rich in the latter. The table given is taken from the experiment station bulletin, Nuts as Food, and shows the composition of some of the most common nuts.

COMPOSITION OF AN ENGLISH WALNUT.

COMPOSITION OF AN ENGLISH WALNUT.

Average Composition Of Nuts

Percentage Composition' of Edible Portion

Refuse

Water

Protein

Fat

Carbohydrates including Fiber

Ash

Calories, per lb

Almonds...

47.0

4.9

21.4

54.4

16.8

2.5

2,885

Brazil Nuts...

49.4

4.7

17.4

65.0

9.6

3.3

3,120

Filberts...

52.1

5.4

16.5

64.0

11.7

2. 4

3,1C0

Hickory Nuts...

62.2

3.7

15.4

67.4

11.4

2.1

3,345

Pecans...

50.1

3.4

12.l

70.3

12.2

1.6

3,360

Walnuts...

58.8

3.4

18.2

60.7

16.0

1.7

3,075

Chestnuts(fresh)...

15.7

43.4

6.4

6.0

42.8

1.4

1,110

Butternuts...

86.4

4.5

27.9

61.2

3.4

3.0

3,370

Cocoanuts..

34.7

13.0

6.6

56.2

22.6

1.6

2,1:0b

Cocoanut, shredded..........

...

3.5

6.3

57.4

31.5

1.3

3,125

Pistachio...

....

4.2

22.6

54.5

15.6

3.1

3,250

Peanuts...

27.0

7.4

29.8

43.5

17.1

2.2

2,610

Roasted Peanuts...

32.6

1.6

30.5

49.2

16.2

2.5

2.955

Peanut Butter...

2.1

29.3

46.5

17.1

5.0

2,025

Digestibility Of Nuts

Much has been said about the indigestibility of nuts, but this probably comes largely from the fact that nuts are most usually eaten at the end of a hearty meal after the appetite has been completely satisfied. If nuts were more often taken as a substitute for a part of the meat of the meal, there would probably be less difficulty with regard to their digestion. Another important factor in their digestibility as in the case of other foods, is that of their finely divided condition; often they are insufficiently masticated. Some of the nut meals and pastes on the market are valuable because of their fine division, and their use as a meat substitute certainly has a rational basis. Peanut butter is the most common of these preparations.