Mainstream doctors have long told patients with weight issues to avoid nuts because they are “fattening.”
A massive new study shows that bit of common “wisdom” is nonsense.
Not only are nuts not fattening…they may actually help you prevent weight gain.
Researchers followed 373,293 adults for five years. During that time, participants gained an average of 4.6 pounds. But those who ate the most nuts (more than one serving a week) gained slightly less weight. And they were 5% less likely to become overweight or obese.
The study’s senior investigator, Dr. Joan Sabate is director of the Center for Nutrition, Lifestyle, and Disease Prevention at the Loma Linda University School of Public Health. He led the study.
“This confirms that nuts are not an obesogenic food,” Dr. Sabate said.
The study was recently published in the online version of the European Journal of Nutrition.1
The study included almonds, hazelnuts, pistachios, and walnuts. These are all tree nuts. Peanuts—technically a legume—were also included in the study.
Dr. Sabate says the secret to nuts’ weight-fighting power is the fact that they are filling. He recommends eating them before meals to reduce your appetite. “They’re very satiating,” he said.1
Nuts Are Packed With Nutrition
Sabate notes that nuts are rich sources of good fats, protein, vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals. Nutrients in nuts include:3
- Unsaturated fats, such as heart-healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.
- Omega-3 fatty acids, which are linked to multiple cardiovascular and brain benefits.
- Fiber, which increases satiety and helps prevent type 2 diabetes.
- Vitamin E, which helps stop development of plaques in coronary arteries.
- Plant sterols, which can help lower cholesterol.
- L-arginine, which may make the linings of arteries more flexible and less susceptible to blood clots.
Eat four more servings of nuts a week. Raw or dry-roasted nuts are healthier choices than those cooked in oil.
Organic is best, but it’s less important with nuts than with other foods. Since nuts are encased in hard shells, the meat is less likely to be contaminated with toxic chemicals.
One serving of nuts is a small handful (about 1.5 ounces) of whole nuts or two tablespoons of nut butter.
One more thing… While all nuts are healthy, walnuts stand out. They have higher levels of many nutrients—omega-3 fatty acids in particular.
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