Fact or Myth: Do Nuts Help You Lose Weight?

This is a FACT.

Whether it’s the protein, the fiber, or the crunchy goodness, one thing is for sure—when eaten in moderation, nuts help you lose weight. Numerous studies promote nuts for weight loss. Peanuts, cashews, almonds, and pistachios have all been linked to a lower risk of heart disease and diabetes, and a longer, healthier life. Research has also shown that nuts are a healthy snack that may even trim your waistline!

SONY DSCThe Satiety Effect

Nuts help you feel fuller, faster. Rich in protein and fiber, nuts take longer to digest due to their tough cell walls, and therefore help curb cravings much longer than other snack foods do.

Studies have shown that people eat an average of 580 extra calories a day from snack foods. Nuts can slash those extra calories in half by regulating feelings of hunger. Other studies have shown that women who snack on nuts have slimmer figures than those who don’t. And the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reports that nuts make a diet feel less like a diet. Test subjects who snacked on nuts stuck to their weight loss programs much longer than dieters on a no-nut diet.

Nuts have also been proven to charge the metabolism. Nuts require more energy to eat and digest, thereby activating fat burning. Add exercise to the mix, and your body reaches its full fat burning potential.

Low in sugar, nuts won’t flood your body with glucose. Remember, excess sugar gets converted into fat that your body stores in fat cells!

But…What About the Fat?

At 160 to 200 calories an ounce, most of which is fat, that handful of nuts may look threatening to your weight loss goals. Not to worry! Nuts are made up of healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats that are rich in omega-3 and protect the heart and brain from disease. According to a report published in the Journal of Nutrition, up to 1/5 of the fat in nuts never even gets absorbed by the body!

When it comes to nuts, moderation is key. Two cups of mixed nuts delivers a whopping 1600 calories, which will, of course, contribute to weight gain. But when eaten in bite-sized bits, nuts support a healthy diet. Be sure to monitor fat calories from other food sources while snacking on nuts, and only consume raw, unprocessed, unsalted nuts, which are free of preservatives and won’t contribute to the bloating effect caused by other, less healthy snack foods.