Cashews are considered high-fat, high-calorie foods, but when eaten in moderation, they are very healthy. This nut is actually a kidney-shaped seed, with a delicate, buttery flavor, that comes from the cashew apple in the northeastern part of Brazil. Cashew nuts come from the same family as mango and pistachio.

Cashews are a good source of fiber and protein. Rich in monounsaturated fat, a diet that includes these nuts helps protect the heart. Cashew is also rich in copper, folic acid, selenium and B vitamins.

Cashews come fried, raw, dried, roasted, and smoked. Their calories will depend on how they are prepared.

Roasted Cashews

There are about 8 calories per roasted cashew. 20 cashews are considered one serving, containing about 162 calories. There are about 13.4 grams of fat and 8.4 grams of carbohydrates in one serving. 20 cashews contain 0.9 grams of fiber.

 

Roasted cashew nuts in oil

A cashew roasted in oil contains more than 9 calories per nut. Based on 20 cashews in one serving, there are over 14 grams of fat and over 10 grams of carbohydrates. One serving also has less than 1 gram of fiber.

 

Raw cashews

A raw cashew contains approximately 8 calories. One serving of cashews, or about 20 cashews, contain about 9.1 grams of carbohydrates and 13 grams of fat. A raw cashew has about 1 gram of fiber.

 

Benefits to the heart

About 75 percent of the fat in a cashew comes from unsaturated fat, or oleic acid. Oleic acid is the same acid found in heart-healthy olive oil. It is believed to lower triglycerides; fats that are carried through the bloodstream and are known to increase the risk of heart disease.

 

Reduces the risk of gallstones

By eating just one ounce of cashews a day you can reduce your risk of gallstones by 25%. This is a handful of walnuts or 2 tablespoons of cashew butter or 20 cashews.