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Two new studies suggest that a small daily serving of nuts may benefit overall metabolic health and keep off the weight we tend to gain as we enter adulthood.
Common nuts and their benefits
Regularly eating nuts as part of a weight-loss diet can boost weight loss and improve cholesterol. The high protein and high unsaturated fat content has been linked to reduced hunger and feeling full for longer, specially when eaten as a snack. Some healthy choices are:
Eating peanuts is an excellent way for people to boost the amount of protein in their diet. Despite being high in calories, peanuts are nutrient-rich and low in carbohydrates. Raw peanuts are the most beneficial variety. Peanut butter is a great choice, offering a healthy nutritional profile and a range of health benefits.
Almonds have been a staple in the Pakistani diet be as luxurious garnish on meals or a winter treat. Almonds may be the perfect snack for people who are looking for a healthful, protein-rich alternative to potato chips or pretzels.
Pistachios are one of the lowest-calorie nuts, which means people can enjoy the health benefits of nuts while more easily staying within their daily calorie limits. They also boast a higher ratio of essential amino acids, the building blocks of protein, when compared with other nuts, including almonds, hazelnuts, pecans, and walnuts.
Walnuts are high in heart-healthy unsaturated fats that make them great for weight loss. A handful of walnuts every day 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.
- 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.
— Neal Martin Zeavy (@nealmartinzeavy) August 14, 2019
Nuts are packed with unsaturated fatty acids, fiber, protein, and other beneficial chemicals, which may all contribute to good health. However, can nuts aid weight loss? Are certain types of nuts better able to support good metabolism?
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The science behind it
Nuts are also high in healthful fats, which are good for the body in moderation but can cause diarrhea and other issues in excess.
The first study — led by Xiaoran Liu, Ph.D., a research associate in the nutrition department of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston, MA — looked at the long-term effects of nuts and peanuts on body weight.
The second study examined the effects of Brazil nuts on satiety, blood sugar, and insulin response. It was supervised by Mee Young Hong, Ph.D., a registered dietician and a professor in the School of Exercise & Nutritional Sciences at San Diego State University in California.
— Nutty Delights (@NuttyDelights) August 15, 2019
Nuts prevent weight gain in adulthood
The first study explored nut consumption in:
- 25,394 healthy men who had taken part in the Health Professionals Follow-up Study
- 53,541 women who had participated in the Nurses’ Health Study
- 47,255 women who had taken part in the Nurses’ Health Study II
The three groups had filled in food frequency questionnaires once every 4 years. The researchers discovered that replacing foods that had less nutritional value with a 1-ounce serving of nuts and peanuts lowered the risk of weight gain and obesity over the 4-year follow-up intervals.
Nuts are packed with unsaturated fatty acids, fiber, protein, and other beneficial chemicals, which may all contribute to good health.
More specifically, replacing a serving of red meat, processed meat, french fries, desserts, or potato chips with a serving of nuts correlated with significantly less weight gain in the long run.
The study’s first author comments on the findings, saying, “People often see nuts as food items high in fat and calories, so they hesitate to consider them as healthy snacks, but they are in fact associated with less weight gain and wellness.”
“Once people reach adulthood, they start to gradually gain about 1 pound a year of weight, which seems small. But if you consider gaining one pound over 20 years, it accumulates to a lot of weight gain,” Liu notes.
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“Adding 1 ounce of nuts to your diet in place of less healthy foods — such as red or processed meat, french fries or sugary snacks — may help prevent that slow, gradual weight gain after you enter adulthood and reduce the risk of obesity-related cardiovascular diseases.”
Can you eat too many nuts?
Eating nuts is beneficial for health as they may protect against risk factors for heart disease and other health conditions. However, it is possible to eat too many nuts. Nuts are very high in calories, so eating a large number of nuts throughout the day can cause people to exceed their target calorie intake without realizing it. Doing so regularly may lead to weight gain.
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Nuts are also high in healthful fats, which are good for the body in moderation but can cause diarrhea and other issues in excess. Roasted, salted nuts can add at least as much sodium to the diet as other salty snacks. Anyone eating salted nuts should pay attention to the label to see how much sodium they are eating. Raw or dry-roasted nuts are a more healthful alternative.
Some people may find that nuts upset their digestive system. In this case, eating too many nuts may cause them to feel gassy, cramped, or bloated. Nuts are also a common dietary allergy, so caution is best.