More and more research is discovering new health benefits of many common foods. Nuts are among those, with recent reports that nuts can help reduce blood pressure and lessen the risk of heart attack. But can nuts also help you lose weight?
At first glance that might seem to be a little, well, nuts. After all, nuts are chock full of fats and, even though they’re healthy fats, the caloric density of nuts can make it all too easy to eat a shocking amount of calories in a very short period of time.
Researchers at Harvard’s School of Public Health analyzed data from nearly 145,000 health study participants in order to draw their conclusions. They looked at nut consumption among those people and found that increasing nut consumption was linked with a lower risk of gaining weight. That was especially the case with those who replaced unhealthy foods such as refined grains with nuts.
Those who went from eating no nuts at all to consuming at least half a serving a day also saw a significant impact. And consistent increases in nut consumption were linked with lower risk of weight gain and lesser likelihood of obesity.
Why exactly nuts help to stave off weight gain and obesity is unclear, although researchers were clear that the findings pertained only to nuts themselves, and not to nut butters such as peanut butter. Whether nuts provided greater satiety, staved off hunger, or helped the body burn fat more efficiently, consumption of nuts had definite health benefits.
That’s one reason that nut consumption has been so highly touted by many health experts. Nuts are easily found in all grocery stores, don’t cost much per serving, and have numerous health benefits. If you dislike eating nuts on their own, you can eat them in salads, turn them into a trail mix, or find other ways to get your daily dose of nuts in.