Author: Margaret Dew
May 4th, 2018 • 8 min read
Last Updated: August 12th, 2018
Inspiration of the article:
I know, I know. We hear this every where, and every day. "Nuts are healthy. Nuts help burn fat. Nuts help you lose weight". Nuts this and nuts that. But after researching more about those nuts and how affective they are in benefiting our health and daily recommended nutritionous intake, I could not wait to write an article about this!
Nuts are technically considered a fruit. However, unlike most types of fruit, they aren't sweet and are high in fat. They are extremely healthy, as they're packed full of nutrients and antioxidants. We know this by now. We know that they contain a lot of micronutrients and that even overly eating them provides us good health benefits (wish we can do that with lollipops...)
To refresh our memory, here is 9 of the most commonly known nuts:
I had a friend who did not include nuts very often in his diet. Why? Because he wanted to lose weight. Weight gain is often looked upon as an excessive amount of calorie intake.
The thing is, nuts are a high-calorie, fat-rich food. So it is easy to see why weight-conscious individuals may hesitate even eating too many of them.
To add onto that, let me ask you this question: How many almonds does it take to get to 100 calories?
That's all you have to eat to consume 100 calories.... yikes!
Don't worry, my friends. Because I am here to tell you something very enlightening. I am going to tell you that everything is going to be okay!
Because upon further research I have learned that nuts are not only a nutrient-rich powerhouse, but they can also help you control your weight!
They are not just rich in nutrients. They are also a good source of fiber, protein and minerals, which compliments our minimum recommended daily nutrition intake very well.
So without further ado, here is a list of valuable information on how nuts can help you with your weight loss goals. Nuts:
Even though nuts are high in calories, they have qualities that help with managing weight. They are rich in protein and fiber, in which both help keep you from feeling full. It is widely known that nuts have a strong ability to control appetite. So, adding nuts to the diet has been linked to reduced hunger and feeling full for longer.
For example, snacking on almonds has been shown to reduce hunger and cravings.
However, that does not mean you should hastily grab some cup of nuts and start chowing down on them whenever you feel hungry. Be careful with overeating nuts if you are on a diet, because a cup of nuts can equate to 800 calories. I recommend to stick to about a handful serving. This would approximately equate to 170 calories and 15 grams of fat, give or take.
In one study, over 200 people were told to eat a portion of peanuts as a snack.
The result was that they naturally ate fewer calories later in the day. This effect was greater when peanuts were eaten as a snack, rather than at a main meal.
It's thought that their appetite-suppressing effects are likely due to the increased production of the hormones peptide YY (PYY) and/or cholecystokinin (CCK), both of which help regulate appetite.
The theory is that the high protein and high unsaturated fat content may be responsible for this effect.
Related: Tips To Healthy Eating On A Budget
Studies suggest that 54–104% of the extra calories that come from adding nuts to the diet are canceled out by a natural reduction in the intake of other foods.
So, it is 2018 and many years have gone by where numerous studies prove wrong of the constant misconception that nuts cause weight gain.
To add onto that: Just last year, a large study was published in the month of July, by the European Journal of Nutrition that involved over 370,000 men and women between the ages of 25 and 70 where researchers evaluated the relationship between nut consumption and weight gain over a five-year period. The results are astonishing. They have learned that nut consumption prevents weight gain and reduces the risk of obesity and being overweight.
Senior investigator Joan Sabaté, MD, DrPH, director of the Center for Nutrition, Lifestyle and Disease Prevention at LLUSPH, said that many people have historically assumed that nuts -- an energy-dense, high-fat food -- are not a good choice for individuals who want to lose weight. The studies however, contradict that assumption.
"Eat nuts during your meal," he suggested. "Put them at the center of your plate to replace animal products. They're very satiating."
A recent study performed prospective investigations involving 3 separate groups of 120,877 U.S. men and women who were free of chronic diseases and not obese were evaluated at 4-year inervals. Within each 4-year period, participants gained an average of 3.35 lb. On the basis of increased daily servings of individual dietary components, the 4-year weight change was most strongly associated with foods like potato chips or sugar-sweetened beverages. The results had shown that nuts were not associated with weight gain.
It's not clear why this is, but it may be partly due to the healthier lifestyle choices of those who eat nuts.
As a matter of fact, human studies show that nuts often boosts weight loss.
For example, one study of 65 overweight individuals compared a low-calorie diet supplemented with almonds to a low-calorie diet supplemented with complex carbs.
They consumed the same amount of calories, protein, cholesterol and saturated fat.
And at the end of the 24-week period, those on the almond diet had a 62% greater reduction in weight and body mass index (BMI), 50% greater reduction in waist circumference and 56% greater reduction in fat mass.
A study conducted an 8-hour measurement period where they tested the effects of diet-related energy expenditure and fat oxidation in 16 overweight individuals. What they found was that fat oxidation was higher when experimented with nuts.
Another study found that supplementing with peanut oil for eight weeks resulted in a 5% increase in burning calories. However, this was only seen in overweight people. More information of the study can be found here.
The bottom line is that even though nuts are high in fats and calories, regularly eating them are not in any way associated with weight gain, and may even help you lose weight. They are INCREDIBLY healthy. But it's still important to get in the habit of eating a reasonable amount at a time so that you can split your nutrients with other foods. Public health guidelines recommend eating a one-ounce (28-gram) portion of nuts on most days of the week. For the healthiest option, choose plain, unsalted varieties.
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