- Weight Loss: 5 Nuts To Burn Belly Fat And Lose Weight, The Healthy Way
- Nuts for weight loss | Nuts for burning belly fat and losing weight
- How Eating Nuts Can Help You Lose Weight
- 1. Walnuts
- 2. Pistachios
- 3. Almonds
- 4. Cashews
- 5. Brazil Nuts
- Buy Your Favorites at Sincerely Nuts
- Eating a Handful of Nuts a Day May Help With Weight Control, Study Finds
- Nuts May Help With Weight Maintenance Along With Weight Loss
- Nuts Are Calorie-Dense but Full of Nutrients
- Brazil Nuts Can Help You Feel Full, a Separate Study Suggests
- What to Look for When Buying Nuts at the Grocery Store
- Just A Handful Of Nuts May Help Keep Us From Packing On The Pounds As We Age
- Boosting daily nut consumption linked to less weight gain and lower obesity risk
- Will Eating Nuts Make You Gain Weight?
- Dietary fat: friend or foe?
- What the evidence says
- Let’s nut this out
Weight Loss: 5 Nuts To Burn Belly Fat And Lose Weight, The Healthy Way
Weight Loss Diet
Losing weight is not easy; it requires dedication, hard work and a lot of patience. You have to bid goodbye to everything junk and unhealthy food and say hello to all things healthy and nutritious. So, if you are trying to lose weight, you’d know the importance of including healthy foods in your diet. In the list of healthy foods, nuts are counted as superfoods that contain antioxidant levels that help keep your body healthy. Nuts are rich in fibre, protein, healthy fats, vitamins and minerals that also help lose weight and burn belly fat. So, if you haven’t already added these tiny delights to your diet, then it is time you know their importance. We list out nuts that will help you lose weight, the healthy way.
(Also Read: Here’s How You Can Store Nuts For A Long Time)
Nuts for weight loss | Nuts for burning belly fat and losing weight
Almonds are considered as one of the nature’s superfoods for their rich content of protein, antioxidants and heart-healthy fats. The mono-unsaturated fats found in almonds will prevent overeating and the dietary fibre contributes to the sensation of being full, despite eating a small amount. In fact, they are a good source of an amino acid called L-arginine that helps you burn fat. Eating 3-5 almonds everyday has been associated with greater weight loss and higher fat metabolism. The fibre and protein in these nuts are said to keep you satiated for longer and also keep your digestive health in check.
(Also Read: What Is The Best Time To Consume Nuts? Find Out)
Walnuts are high in heart-healthy unsaturated fats that make them great for weight loss. A handful of walnuts everyday could help to stimulate fat loss and promote healthy body weight. Walnuts are also known for their amazing appetite-control power; thanks to the presence of omega-3 fatty acids, plant-sterols and vitamins that help suppress hunger, further helping in weight loss.
Weight Loss Diet: Walnuts are high in heart-healthy unsaturated fats that make them great for weight loss
Pistachios, or pistas, have a modest amount of protein. This protein helps keep you full for longer time, thereby preventing you from reaching out to junk food. Moreover, the protein in pistachios helps build new muscle tissues. Pistas also contain mono-unsaturated fats that have been shown to boost weight loss.
4. Brazil Nuts
Brazil nuts come loaded with fibre and protein, both of which are essential for losing weight. Moreover, they are also a good source of selenium, magnesium, phosphorus and thiamine, all of which are said to be helpful in weight loss. Brazil nuts also contain L-arginine that is efficient in fat burning process. They also help kick-start your metabolism.
5. Cashew Nuts
Magnesium in cashew nuts is essential for regulating the metabolism of fat and carbohydrates, which may further help you lose weight. Cashews are relatively good sources of protein, which is key to losing weight.
While nuts are high in calories, eating the right amount daily can actually help lose weight. Make a trail mix of all these nuts and have a handful of them daily. Don’t forget to complement nuts with a healthy diet and some physical activity to lose weight effectively.
When you’re working to lose weight, creating a balance between exercise and a healthy diet can help you reach your goals. Nuts are a great food to enjoy during the weight loss process because they’re full of healthy nutrients and help you feel fuller longer after you eat.
How Eating Nuts Can Help You Lose Weight
Nuts are rich in vitamins and minerals and are ideal for helping you maintain a healthy diet — which is an important part of losing weight. Also, because nuts contain healthy fats and a lot of protein, they can help you stay fuller between meals. You’ll be able to say no to unhealthy snack options.
If you’d like to start incorporating nuts into your diet plan, here are five of the best nuts for weight loss.
Walnuts are one of the best nuts for weight loss because they are chock full of healthy fats. This nutrient improves your heart health and helps you keep your appetite under control. That means adding walnuts to your diet can help you lose weight and lower your risk for heart-related problems — win-win!
Pistachios are also loaded with healthy fats, and their high levels of protein make them an easy way to cut your cravings for unhealthy snacks between meals — meaning you’ll eat less and healthier.
Like pistachios and walnuts, almonds have healthy fats, along with plenty of protein and fiber to keep you feeling full and prevent you from overeating. Eating just a few almonds a day can help you lose weight faster.
When you snack on cashews or add them to other dishes, you’ll get a great source of magnesium. The magnesium lets your body metabolize fats and carbohydrates, helping you lose weight more easily. Like other nuts, they also have a good amount of protein to curb your appetite.
The best part about eating nuts like cashews while you’re losing weight is that you don’t have to eat many to see these great benefits. Different nuts have their own recommended serving size per day. Knowing which nuts are best suited for weight loss and also knowing how many you should eat a day will help you through the weight loss process.
5. Brazil Nuts
Brazil nuts can kick your metabolism into gear with a variety of different nutrients, like L-arginine, selenium, thiamine and magnesium. These nutrients help you burn fat faster so you can drop the pounds more easily.
Like other nuts, brazil nuts are also great sources of fiber and protein. They’ll fill you up, keep you from getting hungry in between meals and promote other health benefits in addition to weight loss.
Buy Your Favorites at Sincerely Nuts
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Eating a Handful of Nuts a Day May Help With Weight Control, Study Finds
Nuts, whether you add a handful a day to your regular diet or swap them for your daily bag of potato chips and have nuts instead, may help you maintain your weight or drop unwanted pounds, according to a preliminary study. While nuts are calorie dense, researchers sought to analyze whether they affected long-term weight change in the research, which will be presented November 10, 2018, at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2018 in Chicago.
“For someone interested in weight management or weight loss, quite often the tendency is to shy away from calorie-dense foods,” says the study’s first author, Xiaoran Liu, PhD, a research associate in the nutrition department of the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston.
The researchers looked at the effects of adding nuts to participants’ diets and swapping nuts for other snacks, including red meat, processed meat, fries, desserts, and chips. In both cases, a serving of nuts was beneficial. Adding a daily serving (about 28 grams, or a small handful) was associated with less risk of weight gain or becoming obese. And substituting a food with a daily serving of nuts was associated with less weight gain.
For their analysis, Dr. Liu and her colleagues followed three separate study cohorts: 25,394 men (Health Professionals Follow-up Study), 53,541 women (Nurses’ Health Study), and 47,255 women (Nurses’ Health Study II). The participants did not have chronic disease and were not obese at the start of the study. To determine the amount of nuts that the participants ate, researchers used food-frequency questionnaires every four years over the course of each established study group, which ran for an average of 26 years. Researchers found that walnuts were especially effective, though it’s worth noting the California Walnut Commission partially funded the study.
The study participants were mainly white, but Liu notes that she expects results would be consistent across other populations, as the association between nut consumption and other health outcomes is “pretty consistent” across populations in the U.S. and Europe.
The fiber in nuts may explain the researchers’ findings, as this nutrient is important for weight control, says Lori Chong, RD, at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center in Columbus, who wasn’t involved in the current study. It could also be related to the blood sugar response to nuts, compared with the other snacks. “Anything that spikes blood sugar will spike insulin, and that promotes fat storage,” Chong says. “If you snack on something that doesn’t cause that blood sugar spike, it doesn’t require insulin.”
RELATED: Why You Should Go Nuts for Nuts
Nuts May Help With Weight Maintenance Along With Weight Loss
For optimal health, maintaining your weight is just as, if not more, important than losing weight if you need to, experts say. And, as the study suggests, nuts may help with weight maintenance.
“When people enter adulthood, over time they have a gradual weight gain of 1 pound a year ,” Liu says. “That extra 10 pounds after about 15 years is associated with health risks such as cancer and type 2 diabetes.”
Preventing weight gain is a more effective strategy than trying to lose weight later, Chong agrees.
“A lot of people feel it’s normal or expected to gain weight as you get older, but it doesn’t have to happen,” Chong says. “We should just be focusing on a good, healthy balance in our diet, staying away from processed foods, and getting regular exercise.”
RELATED: The Best Nuts for People Managing Diabetes
Nuts Are Calorie-Dense but Full of Nutrients
Liu notes that her team’s findings showed calories are not the only marker of a food’s nutritional impact. Nuts are high in healthy polyunsaturated fat and monounsaturated fat, which are heart healthy especially when they’re replacing unhealthy saturated and trans fat. The fiber in nuts improves satiety and fullness and is beneficial for gut microbial diversity, Liu says. Gut bacteria may play a role in immunity, weight, and risk for various diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and inflammatory bowel diseases, according to an April 2015 article in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences.
In addition, nuts provide all three macronutrients (carbohydrates, protein, fat), and are a good source of calcium, phytonutrients, and other minerals your body needs for optimal health.
RELATED: 10 Superfoods for Heart Health
Brazil Nuts Can Help You Feel Full, a Separate Study Suggests
Other recent research supports eating nuts for weight control.
In an unrelated preliminary study from San Diego State University also presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions, researchers compared the effects of Brazil nuts and pretzels on satiety. The small study of 22 adults found that, after eating Brazil nuts, participants felt fuller and had stable blood glucose and insulin levels 40 minutes after eating. Forty minutes after having pretzels, participants showed a significant increase in blood glucose and insulin.
Rather than focus on finding the most nutrient dense or “best” nut, Chong recommends eating a variety to get a breadth of nutrients.
“There will always be a slight nutritional difference from one variety to another,” she says.
RELATED: A Complete Guide to Almonds and Reaping Their Health Benefits
What to Look for When Buying Nuts at the Grocery Store
When it comes to grocery shopping for nuts, Chong recommends buying raw or dry-roasted nuts. Skip those roasted in oil, topped with salt, and any that have added sweeteners (we’re looking at you, honey roasted).
“Most Americans are consuming way too much sugar, and that’s just another example of extra sugar we don’t need,” Chong says.
Chong avoids nuts that have added spices, as they may include chemicals used to create flavor. If you don’t like plain, raw nuts, roast them at home and mix them with your favorite herbs or spices for flavor.
Chong likes Trader Joe’s or Aldi’s as options for well-priced nuts — plus, they sell a lot that are raw or dry roasted.
Remember, eat nuts as you would a portion-controlled snack, not a “healthy” free-for-all. If you don’t like eating them solo, add a tablespoon to your oatmeal, yogurt, cottage cheese, or salad.
“Don’t buy a Snickers bar to try to get your nuts,” Chong says.
RELATED: 4 Nuts That May Cut Your Heart Disease Risk
- A recent study published in BMJ Nutrition, Prevention & Health found that swapping out unhealthy snacks for nuts can help keep off gradual weight gain.
- Incorporating nuts into you diet is a way to get more protein, vitamins, and minerals.
When you get that 2 p.m. snack craving, you probably find yourself searching the office vending machine for something salty or sweet. But if you’re trying to keep your weight in check, those options may not be the healthiest bet.
Now, new research published in BMJ Nutrition, Prevention & Health suggests that there is a smart choice if you want a salty snack: nuts. Keeping walnuts or other tree nuts, such as almonds, cashews, and pistachios, in your desk drawer might help stave off weight gain.
In the study, researchers looked at data from three past datasets (including 51,529 male health professionals, aged 40 to 75; 121,700 nurses, aged 35 to 55; and 116,686 nurses, aged 24 to 44) that asked participants about exercise, diet, weight, and snacking habits. This included gathering data on the frequency the participants ate a serving (1 ounce) of walnuts or tree nuts or servings of peanut butter (one tablespoon) over the course of the previous year.
Participants who increased their total nut consumption by one-half serving a day, or 3.5 servings per week throughout the course of the study were 3 percent less likely to become obese. Specifically, snacking on one-half serving of walnuts led to a 15 percent lower risk of developing obesity, and doing the same for other tree nuts was associated with an 11 percent lower risk of developing obesity.
Adding nuts in place of other salty or sweet, less healthful snacks also helped to keep off the nearly one pound that people tend to gain per year, according to the study. Those who snacked on at least one-half serving of nuts per day rather than chips, processed meats, French fries or desserts, kept off about 0.9 to 1.5 pounds every four years.
While that doesn’t sound like much, even small amounts of weight gain can add up over the years.
“We found that modest changes in nuts were associated with modest benefits to weight. Importantly, we did not find that increasing nuts was associated with weight gain, which is what many adhering to the low-fat advice might predict given the high amount of healthy fats in nuts,” Deirdre Tobias, Sc.D., an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School and the Harvard School of Public Health, told Bicycling.
Now, it’s important to recognize that this study was partially funded by the Peanut Institution and California Walnut Commission, which obviously would like to emphasize the benefits of eating nuts. Still, the study went through a rigorous peer review before publication, and the results fall in line with previous research on the topic.
In fact, one study published in Obesity found that people who did not eat nuts gained about 0.9 pounds more than those consumed nuts two or more times per week after a 28-month follow up period. Another meta-analysis published in Advances in Nutrition found that adults who ate about 1.5 servings of almonds per week reduced their body weight and LDL (bad) cholesterol compared to those who didn’t eat almonds.
What’s more, nutritionists support the addition of nuts into your diet: Lori Nedescu, M.S., R.D., C.S.S.D., founder of Hungry for Results agreed that adding nuts to an already well-rounded diet is very beneficial for health. She added consuming about five servings of nuts a week is the recommended amount.
“Nuts are full of monounsaturated fats, which are considered heart-healthy,” she said. “They also contain protein and vitamins and minerals such as copper, zinc, and vitamin E which help support healing and immunity—all great for athletes.”
One question, however, pops up pretty frequently: Nuts are high in fat—one serving of almonds contains 14 grams of fat and 164 calories, for instance—so how can that help keep your weight in check?
Nuts are full of monounsaturated fats, which are very filling, said Nedescu. So even though you are eating a good amount of fat (and calories) with your snack, they tend to leave you more satiated, so you aren’t tempted to hit the vending machine for round two.
Still, it’s easy to go overboard, Nedescu cautioned.
“Many trendy raw, vegan, paleo, keto bars/energy balls contain many servings of nuts, making the snack extremely caloric and high fat—two things that can lead to weight gain and gastric distress if consumed frequently,” Nedescu said.
Another thing to watch out for: candied nuts on salads or treats. These add simple sugars to your meal that can contribute to weight gain.
The best way to incorporate nuts is to grab a serving of whole, raw nuts as a snack. This way you can appreciate the flavor and satisfying qualities of them and control the portion being consumed. Additionally, a spread of nut butter on your toast or small spoonful in your oats can also be a great meal addition to boost satiety.
“Bottom line, nuts are extremely healthful when consumed in their natural form and in combination with an overall high quality diet,” Nedescu said.
Jordan Smith Digital Editor Her love of all things outdoors came from growing up in the Black Hills of South Dakota, and her passion for running was sparked by local elementary school cross-country meets.
Just A Handful Of Nuts May Help Keep Us From Packing On The Pounds As We Age
U.S. adults put on about a pound a year on average. But people who had a regular nut-snacking habit put on less weight and had a lower risk of becoming obese over time, a new study finds. R.Tsubin/Getty Images hide caption
toggle caption R.Tsubin/Getty Images
U.S. adults put on about a pound a year on average. But people who had a regular nut-snacking habit put on less weight and had a lower risk of becoming obese over time, a new study finds.
Eating a handful of almonds, walnuts, peanuts or any type of nut on a regular basis may help prevent excessive weight gain and even lower the risk of obesity, new research suggests.
It may be that substituting healthy nuts for unhealthy snacks is a simple strategy to ward off the gradual weight gain that often accompanies aging, according to the researchers. Nuts also help us feel full longer, which might offset cravings for junk food.
Researchers looked at the diet and weight of more than 280,000 adults taking part in three long-term research studies. Over more than 20 years of monitoring, participants were asked every four years about their weight and, among other things, how often, over the preceding year, they had eaten a serving (about one ounce) of nuts.
On average, U.S. adults put on one pound of weight every year, according to researcher and epidemiologist Deirdre Tobias, a co-author of the new study, which appears in the online journal BMJ Nutrition, Prevention & Health. “We wanted to know whether nuts were associated with long-term weight gain,” says Tobias, who’s with Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. Tobias and her colleagues hypothesized that nuts might be beneficial, given the association of nuts with a lower risk of heart disease and Type 2 diabetes.
The researchers found that making nuts a regular part of one’s diet was associated with less long-term weight gain and a lower risk of obesity. The people who most consistently ate nuts gained, on average, about half a pound a year, while those who ate nuts only now and then gained, on average, about one pound each year. That may not sound like a big difference, but Tobias says, “Those half-pounds add up over time.”
It’s important to note that we’re not talking about piles of nuts — just a small handful a day, which Tobias says is about a dozen almonds or maybe 10 walnuts.
In analyzing data about participants’ diets, researchers were able to see that as nuts became a more regular part of people’s diets, their unhealthy food consumption decreased, including foods such as processed meats, refined grains and desserts like chocolates, pastries, pies and doughnuts.
“When you increase nuts at the expense of these other snack foods, there’s an even greater benefit,” says Tobias. A consistent nut intake of at least a half-ounce a day was associated with a 23% lower risk of putting on 10 or more pounds or of becoming obese over a four-year period.
But nuts’ role in weight maintenance goes beyond merely acting as a substitute for pastries. “Nuts have protein in them, which helps us feel full longer, and fiber, which helps fill us up,” says Libby Mills, spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. And because nuts are high in healthy fat, Mills says, they take much longer to digest than carbs and protein, and that can also “make us feel full longer.”
As a registered dietitian, Mills says most of her clients are seeking to lose weight. They “love nuts,” she says, so for them, the findings are welcome news. “They find them an easy, convenient snack to keep at their desk, perhaps individually packaged, tucked into a purse or gym bag, so they’re always super-handy and perfect for people on the go.”
So next time you find yourself craving something between meals, the take-home message here is clear: Go for the nuts — not the cookies.
And here’s an added benefit: A nut habit is good for the planet, say the researchers. “In addition to the impact on human health, using environmentally friendly plant-based protein, such as nuts and seeds, to replace animal sources of protein may contribute to the promotion of a global sustainable food system,” they write.
Credit: CC0 Public Domain
Increasing nut consumption by just half a serving (14 g or ½ oz) a day is linked to less weight gain and a lower risk of obesity, suggests a large, long term observational study, published in the online journal BMJ Nutrition, Prevention & Health.
Substituting unhealthy foods, such as processed meats, French fries, and crisps (potato chips) with a half a serving of nuts may be a simple strategy to ward off the gradual weight gain that often accompanies the aging process, suggest the researchers.
On average, US adults pile on 1lb or nearly half a kilo every year. Gaining 2.5-10 kilos in weight is linked to a significantly greater risk of heart disease/stroke and diabetes.
Nuts are rich in healthy unsaturated fats, vitamins, minerals and fibre, but they are calorie dense, so often not thought of as good for weight control. But emerging evidence suggests that the quality of what’s eaten may be as important as the quantity.
Amid modest increases in average nut consumption in the US over the past two decades, the researchers wanted to find out if these changes might affect weight control.
They analysed information on weight, diet and physical activity in three groups of people: 51,529 male health professionals, aged 40 to 75 when enrolled in the Health Professionals Follow Up Study; 121,700 nurses, aged 35 to 55 when recruited to the Nurses Health Study (NHS); and 116,686 nurses, aged 24 to 44 when enrolled in the Nurses Health Study II (NHS II).
Over more than 20 years of monitoring, participants were asked every 4 years to state their weight, and how often, over the preceding year they had eaten a serving (28 g or 1 oz) of nuts, including peanuts and peanut butter.
Average weekly exercise— walking, jogging, cycling, swimming, racquet sports and gardening—was assessed every two years by questionnaire. It was measured in metabolic equivalent of task (MET) hours, which express how much energy (calories) is expended per hour of physical activity.
Average annual weight gain across all three groups was 0.32 kg (0.71 lb). Between 1986 and 2010, total nut consumption rose from a quarter to just under half a serving/day in men; and from 0.15 to 0.31 servings/day among the women in the NHS study. Between 1991 and 2011 total daily nut consumption rose from 0.07 to 0.31 servings among women in the NHS II study.
Increasing consumption of any type of nut was associated with less long term weight gain and a lower risk of becoming obese (BMI of 30 or more kg/m²), overall.
Increasing nut consumption by half a serving a day was associated with a lower risk of putting on 2 or more kilos over any 4 year period. And a daily half serving increase in walnut consumption was associated with a 15% lower risk of obesity.
Substituting processed meats, refined grains, or desserts, including chocolates, pastries, pies and donuts, for half a serving of nuts was associated with staving off weight gain of between 0.41 and 0.70 kg in any 4 year period.
Within any 4 year period, upping daily nut consumption from none to at least half a serving was associated with staving off 0.74 kg in weight, a lower risk of moderate weight gain, and a 16% lower risk of obesity, compared with not eating any nuts.
And a consistently higher nut intake of at least half a serving a day was associated with a 23% lower risk of putting on 5 or more kilos and of becoming obese over the same timeframe.
No such associations were observed for increases in peanut butter intake.
The findings held true after taking account of changes in diet and lifestyle, such as exercise and alcohol intake.
This is an observational study, and as such, can’t establish cause. And the data relied on personal report, which may have affected accuracy, while only white, relatively affluent health professionals were included, so the findings may not be more widely applicable.
But the findings echo those of previous observational studies, note the researchers, who attempt to explain the associations they found.
Chewing nuts takes some effort, leaving less energy for eating other things, they suggest, while the high fibre content of nuts can delay stomach emptying so making a person feel sated and full for longer.
Nut fibre also binds well to fats in the gut, meaning that more calories are excreted. And there is some evidence that the high unsaturated fat content of nuts increases resting energy expenditure, which may also help to stave off weight gain.
Snacking on a handful of nuts rather than biscuits or crisps may help to ward off the weight gain that often accompanies aging and is a relatively manageable way of helping to curb the onset of obesity, they suggest.
And a nut habit is likely to be good for the planet, they add. “In addition to the impact on human health, using environmentally friendly plant-based protein, such as nuts and seeds to replace animal sources of protein may contribute to the promotion of a global sustainable food system,” they write.
Nuts for nuts? Daily serving may help control weight and benefit health More information: Changes in nut consumption influence long term weight change in US men and women, BMJ Nutrition, Prevention & Health, DOI: 10.1136/bmjnph-2019-000034 Provided by British Medical Journal Citation: Boosting daily nut consumption linked to less weight gain and lower obesity risk (2019, September 23) retrieved 2 February 2020 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2019-09-boosting-daily-nut-consumption-linked.html This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
Will Eating Nuts Make You Gain Weight?
The Australian Dietary Guidelines recommend we eat 30 grams (1 ounce) of nuts – a small handful – each day. But many of us know nuts are high in calories and fat.
So should we be eating nuts or will they make us gain weight?
In short, the answer is yes, we should eat them, and no, they won’t make us gain weight if eaten in moderate amounts. The fats in nuts are mostly the “good” fats.
And aside from that, our bodies don’t actually absorb all the fat found in nuts. But we do absorb the nutrients they provide.
Dietary fat: friend or foe?
Nuts do contain fat, and the amount of fat varies between nut types. For example, a 30g serving of raw cashews or pistachios contains around 15g of fat (0.5 ounces), whereas the same amount of raw macadamias contains around 22g of fat (0.7 ounces).
There are different kinds of fats in our diet and some are better for us than others. Nuts contain mainly monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.
These types of fats are known as “good fats”. They can help lower cholesterol when we eat them in place of saturated fats.
The type of fats present varies between nuts. For example, walnuts are rich in polyunsaturated fats, whereas other types of nuts such as hazelnuts and macadamias have more monounsaturated fat.
What the evidence says
Even if the type of fat in nuts is good for us, they are still high in fat and calories. But this doesn’t mean we should be avoiding them to manage our weight.
Studies that looked at people’s eating habits and body weight over a long period have found people who regularly eat nuts tend to gain less weight over time than people who don’t.
We see a similar pattern in clinical studies that asked people to include nuts in their diets and then looked at the effects on body weight.
A review of more than 30 studies examined the effects of eating nuts on body weight. It did not find people who ate nuts had increased their body weight, body mass index (BMI), or waist circumference, compared to a control group of people who did not eat nuts.
In fact, one study found that when people ate a pattern of food aimed at weight loss, the group of people who ate nuts lost more body fat than those who didn’t eat nuts.
Let’s nut this out
There are several possible explanations for why eating nuts doesn’t seem to lead to weight gain.
We don’t absorb all of the fat in nuts: The fat in nuts is stored in the nut’s cell walls, which don’t easily break down during digestion. As a result, when we eat nuts, we don’t absorb all of the fat. Some of the fat instead is passed out in our faeces. The amount of calories we absorb from eating nuts might be between 5 percent and 30 percent less that what we had previously thought.
Nuts increase the amount of calories we burn: Not only do we not absorb all the calories in nuts, but eating nuts may also increase the amount of energy and fat we burn. It’s thought this may partially be explained by the protein and unsaturated fats in nuts, although we don’t yet know exactly how this occurs. Increases in the number of calories burnt can help us maintain or lose weight.
Nuts help us feel full for longer: As well as fat, nuts are rich in protein and fibre. So, nuts help to keep us feeling full after we eat them, meaning we’re likely to eat less at later meals. Recent studies have also suggested providing people with nuts helps improve the overall quality of the types of foods they eat. This may be because nuts replace “junk foods” as snacks.
People who eat nuts have healthier lifestyles in general: We can’t rule out the idea that eating nuts is just a sign of a healthier lifestyle. However, randomised controlled trials, which can control for lifestyle factors like eating habits, still find no negative effect on body weight when people eat nuts. This means the favourable effects of nuts are not just the result of nut eaters having healthier lifestyles – the nuts themselves play a role.
Overall, the evidence suggests nuts are a healthy snack that can provide us with many of the nutrients our bodies need. We can confidently include the recommended 30g of nuts a day in a healthy diet, without worrying about the effect they will have on our waistlines.
Elizabeth Neale, Career Development Fellow (Lecturer), University of Wollongong; Sze-Yen Tan, Senior Lecturer in Nutrition Science, Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition (IPAN), School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, Deakin University, and Yasmine Probst, Senior lecturer, School of Medicine, University of Wollongong.
This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.