How Many Calories Are in Raw Cashews?

Cashews contain an abundance of protein, carbohydrate and fiber. However, cashews are also high in fat, especially saturated fat. Cashews can be healthy when consumed in moderation, and unsalted cashews are better for maintaining healthy blood pressure.

One serving size of cashews is equal to 1/4 cup. Each serving of raw cashews contains about 180 calories. Healthy, active adults need between 1,800 and 2,200 calories per day.

The appealing taste of cashews is largely due to high fat content. One serving of raw cashews contains 14 g of fat and 2 g of saturated fat. These amounts make up 22 percent and 11 percent, respectively, of the body's daily requirements.

Cashews provide a source of protein. One serving of cashews contains 5 g of protein. Protein is responsible for tissue growth and repair, and the National Strength and Conditioning Association recommends getting between 15 percent and 30 percent of your total caloric intake from protein.

Carbohydrates provide the body with energy, while fiber helps with digestion. One serving of raw cashews contains 8 g of carbohydrate and 2 g of dietary fiber. These values amount to 3 percent and 14 percent, respectively, of the body's daily requirements.

What's in a cashew?

If I had to pick a nut to eat, it would be the cashew. My husband too. He sometimes buys the big container when shopping in bulk and together, we manage to polish the whole thing off. Not in one sitting, mind you, but we probably do eat too many, too quickly. And then we swear off these nuts for a while because we're never quite sure how healthy they are, in the whole scheme of nuts.

According to The World's Healthiest Foods, cashews are good, in moderation. Here's why.

- Cashews have a lower fat content than most other nuts.
- About 75 percent of their fat is unsaturated fatty acid, and 75 percent of this fat is oleic acid, the same heart-healthy mono-unsaturated fat found in olive oil.
- Consuming a handful of cashews four times per week can lower the risk of heart disease.
- Consuming a handful of cashews at least twice a week helps lower risk of weight gain.
- Cashews contain copper, good for iron utilization, elimination of free radicals, development of bone and connective tissue, and the production of the skin and hair pigment called melanin.
- Cashews contain magnesium, good for the bones, muscles, and nerves.
- Cashews help prevent gallstones.

So, what's in a cashew? Some pretty good stuff and about 180 calories per one-fourth cup -- another reason to keep this nutty pursuit to a minimum.

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