Nuts are highly healthy because they are high in minerals and antioxidants. Indeed, they have been linked to various health benefits, including the prevention of heart disease and diabetes. Yet, they are high in fat and calories, therefore many individuals avoid nuts for fear of becoming obese.
Here, we examine the research to determine whether nuts are beneficial to weight loss or fattening.
Nuts are high in Calories and Fat
Nuts contain a lot of calories. This is because a major portion of them is fat, which is a concentrated source of energy. One gram of fat has 9 calories, but one gram of carbs or protein has just 4 calories.
Nuts are high in unsaturated fat
This form of fat has been linked to protection against various disorders, including heart disease.
The calorie and fat values of some commonly consumed nuts per one-ounce (28-gram) portion are shown below:
- Walnuts contain 183 calories and 18 grams of fat.
- Brazil nuts provide 184 calories and 19 grams of fat.
- Almonds contain 161 calories and 14 grams of fat.
- Pistachios provide 156 calories and 12 grams of fat per serving.
- Cashews contain 155 calories and 12 grams of fat.
Many individuals believe that eating nuts will cause them to gain weight because they are heavy in fat and calories. Scientific investigations, however, as stated below, do not support this.
Nuts are high in calories because they contain a lot of fat, which is a concentrated source of energy. Even small portions contain a lot of fat and calories.
Consuming nuts regularly is not related to weight gain
Numerous observational studies have revealed that eating nuts regularly does not cause weight gain and may even avoid it. One study, for example, followed the diets of 8,865 men and women for 28 months.
It was discovered that people who ate two or more servings of nuts per week had a 31% lower risk of weight gain than those who never or seldom ate them. A review of 36 research also discovered that eating nuts regularly was not associated with an increase in weight, body mass index (BMI), or waist size.
The addition of many different types of nuts did not cause changes in body weight in controlled studies where participants had to adhere to a strict diet.
More crucially, in studies in which nuts were introduced to the diets of persons who could eat anything they wanted, nut consumption did not result in weight gain.
Yet, a small number of studies have found that eating nuts is linked to an increase in body weight. However, any weight gain was very tiny, lower than expected, and likely to be inconsequential over time.
Be a little cautious
Many studies have been conducted in recent years to demonstrate the health benefits of nuts, which contain monounsaturated fat, vitamin E, folic acid, magnesium, copper, protein, and fiber, as well as antioxidant phytochemicals.
They are a nutritional powerhouse that can significantly lower the risk of heart disease. They have also been found to play a vital function in lowering “bad” cholesterol and increasing “good” cholesterol levels. They can also help dilate blood vessels and prevent artery stiffening.
The Nurses Health Study, which followed 86,016 nurses for 14 years, discovered that those who ate 5 ounces or more of nuts per week had a 35% lower risk of dying from heart disease. The researchers also discovered that nut eaters tended to weigh less than non-nut eaters.
Are you a dieter? Your wish is fulfilled
A dieter’s dream is to locate food that is delicious, healthful, and full. Dieters who consume nuts are more likely to stick to their diets because the fat and fiber content of nuts makes them satisfying. As a result, individuals are less hungry and hence eat less.
Several studies have found that eating small amounts of nuts can aid in weight loss. Dieters did not feel like they were dieting when nuts were allowed in their eating plans, according to a study conducted by Pennsylvania State researchers, which helped them stay on their diets longer. Here is some food for thought: Are nuts part of your diet? If not, consider making a new plan and specifying whether you like nuts or peanut butter on a questionnaire. This will result in a calorie-free eating plan that contains nuts.
Although nuts are considered a healthy food, this does not permit you to overindulge. When you include nuts in your diet, you add calories as well as health advantages. To avoid weight gain, it is critical to reducing calories from other sources. Our program recommends nuts as part of a healthy diet to provide you with health benefits without the excess calories. A one-ounce serving of nuts includes 160 to 200 calories, the majority of which are from heart-healthy monounsaturated fat. Nuts are also abundant in dietary fiber and are one of the greatest plant protein sources.
Most nuts are ingested by the handful, which can be hazardous. This is the type of meal that frequently causes eating amnesia, eating without thinking, and can easily lead to overeating.
Pre-portion your nuts in little bags for a perfect snack to carry on the move or to the office to avoid mindless snacking. Because it takes time to crack nuts in the shell, you will consume less of them. Alternatively, take one handful and place the package away.
You aim to eat nuts instead of other fat-containing foods such as cakes, cookies, or chips. When you spread peanut butter on apple or celery pieces, you will not feel deprived.
Here are some ideas for incorporating healthy nut fat into your diet:
- For a filling breakfast, top hot or cold cereal with nuts.
- On top of the yogurt, sprinkle with almonds.
- Combine peanuts and non-fat frozen yogurt.
- Employ fat-free salad dressing and top your salads with almonds.
- In salads or soups, substitute nuts for croutons.
- Sprinkle chopped nuts over pasta to bring it to life.
- Recall that slivered almonds are fantastic in everything from poultry to desserts.
- Nuts can be added to bread, pancakes, waffles, or muffins.
- To make a tasty spread, combine nuts and lite cream cheese.
- Popcorn with nuts makes a great snack.
- A handful of almonds adds a lot of flavor to cooked vegetables.
- To increase the flavor, toast the nuts. Bake for 5-10 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Consuming nuts may even help you lose weight-
Many large observational studies have indicated that eating nuts regularly relates to reduced body weight.
It is unclear why, although it could be linked to the better lifestyle choices made by people who eat nuts. Human studies, on the other hand, suggest that adding nuts in a weight loss diet does not impair weight loss. It frequently promotes weight loss. One study, for example, compared a low-calorie diet supplemented with almonds to a low-calorie diet supplemented with complex carbs in 65 overweight or obese people.
They ate the same number of calories, protein, cholesterol, and saturated fat. The almond diet resulted in a 62% greater reduction in weight and BMI, a 50% greater reduction in waist circumference, and a 56% greater reduction in fat mass after 24 weeks.
In other research, calorie-controlled diets containing nuts resulted in weight loss comparable to calorie-controlled, nut-free diets.
The group that consumed nuts, on the other hand, saw improvements in cholesterol, including a drop in “bad” LDL (Low-Density Lipoprotein) cholesterol and triglycerides. Those who followed a nut-free diet did not benefit from this.
Because nuts are high in healthy fat and calories, you might not think of them as a weight-loss strategy. The research was conducted. The questionnaire responses on food habits, physical activity, and weight changes from around 145,000 middle-aged and older men and women were evaluated by the researchers. Over four years, those who moved from never eating nuts to eating at least half a serving (half a handful) daily were 16% less likely to become obese than people who did not consume nuts at all. A half-serving of nuts per day in place of red meat, processed meat, French fries, sweets, or potato chips was similarly linked to less weight gain. Nuts contain protein and fiber, which help us feel fuller for longer and reduce our cravings for junk food. Although nuts are high in calories, up to 20% of the calories consumed will be eliminated by our bodies.
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