Doctor's Orders: Go Nuts
Including a variety of nuts in your diet will help you get ample healthy fats. When it comes to nuts, walnuts top the list; one ounce provides almost 3 grams of the essential omega-3 fats. No other nut even comes close. Keep in mind,the omega-3 in walnuts is not the same omega-3 found in fatty fish like salmon. Walnuts contain the omega-3 fat ALA, or alpha linolenic acid. In the body this must be converted to eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosopentaenoic acid (DHA). Walnuts also contain almost 3 g of monounsaturated fats per ounce. One ounce of walnuts (about 14 halves) provides 185 calories, 4 g of protein, 4 g of carbs, and 18 g of fat total.
After walnuts, macadamia nuts are next on the list due to their monounsaturated fat content. One ounce of macadamias has a whopping 17 g of monounsaturated fats. Not many other nuts come close. One ounce of macadamia nuts (about 10-12 nuts) will net you 203 calories, 2 g of protein, 4 g of carbs, and 22 g of fat.
Up next I would probably list pecans. One ounce of pecans supplies 12 g of monounsaturated fats. They also have three times the omega-3 fats as most other nuts. (Of course, at 300 mg of ALA, it's just one tenth the amount in walnuts.) One ounce of pecans (about 15 halves) will deliver 200 calories, 3 g of protein, 4 g of carbs, and 21 g of fat total.
Almonds come up next as they contain 9 g of monounsaturated fats per ounce, which is still more than most other nuts. Plus, one ounce of almonds supplies 7 g of protein, almost double the amount of most other nuts, even triple the amount of some. One ounce of almonds (about 20 nuts) will total you 170 calories, 7 g of protein, 5 g of carbs and 15 g of total fat.
Have an ounce of mixed nuts (including walnuts) with any meal or snack. Just be sure to stay within your allotment of total fat grams for the day.
Remember that every rest day should be an active rest day. Rest days are for recovery; they're not an excuse to be lazy. Get out and hit 15-30 minutes of HIIT cardio today, or perform 30-60 minutes of your favorite activity: hiking, biking, walking, playing a sport, etc.