Another reason to be nuts about nuts. I love nuts. Hopefully you don’t read something else into that as one female friend did when I said that albeit in jest. Well, the crunchy little things feel good in the mouth, are full of healthful goodness, and they are delicious. And nuts can help you lose weight? Gimme more of dem tings, mon!
Two new studies show that nuts can help in weight management. Why weight management and not just weight loss?
Well, weight management is not weight loss per se, and though the latter term is more common and peaks more interest, it is not the best term. What do I mean?
You see, weight management is about maintaining healthy weight. This could mean fat loss or (gasp!) weight gain. Yes, I said weight gain. Because gaining healthy weight can be a good thing.
Nuts and Weight Loss Studies
Researchers from Harvard found that eating a handful of nuts daily may help you shed some pounds. This may sound counter-intuitive since, as mentioned earlier, nuts are high in calories. But it is not the calories that count, but quality of calories. Empty calories are the worst enemy of your waistline.
For this study, the researchers followed three separate studies involving 25,394 men, 53,541 women, and 47,255 women. The researchers looked at the effects of adding nuts to participant’s diets and replacing other foods and snacks such as red meat, processed meat, fries, desserts or chips.
The researchers found that adding a handful (about 28 grams) of nuts to the diet daily was associated with less risk of gaining weight or becoming obese.
Walnuts were especially were found to be effective, though it’s worth noting the California Walnut Commission partially funded the study.
Granted, less risk of gaining weight may not sound as exciting as “lose 10 pounds in 2 weeks” as some ads and hyped up posts promise. But the first thing you want to do in the war against weight gain and obesity is to halt the weight gain process. If you’re not gaining, chances are that you’re losing.
In another much smaller study from San Diego State University, researchers compared the effects of Brazil nuts and pretzels on satiety. They looked at what the effects of adding 32 grams of pretzels or 20 grams of Brazil nuts. The two contain about equal amounts of calories.
It was found that 40 minutes after eating the snacks, pretzels significantly increased blood sugar and insulin levels. This is bad for your weight and waistline. On the other hand, Brazil nuts stabilized blood sugar and insulin levels, which can be beneficial for maintaining a healthy body weight as wells as lowering risk of diabetes.
These studies support previous studies that show nuts (and seeds) to be effective for fat loss. One 2014 study showed ” inverse association between higher nut consumption and lower body weight.” The study also found nuts to be associated with diabetes risk. (Source: PMC).
Nuts and seeds can be effective tools for helping you fight hunger and food cravings.