We go Nuts for Nuts !
Nuts are the ultimate health food. They are high in protein, rich in healthy fats, and low in simple carbohydrates.
Nuts stimulate your body to burn excess fat and shed extra pounds. Plus, they make an incredibly versatile addition to your diet.
Nuts are a handy snack to stash in your pocket, purse bag or rucksack. They taste great on top of a healthy mixed salad, and can be added to your favourite smoothie recipe for a protein boost.
When eating nuts for weight loss, it is important to keep calories in mind. Nuts are a very energy dense food, meaning that they pack a lot of calories and also nutrients into a small size. This means that you get a lot of nutritional benefit from nuts, but it also means that eating a huge serving of nuts could add extra calories to your diet (Mayo Clinic, 2015).
Despite this, nuts have been scientifically proven to help you shed pounds. In a review of scientific literature on the topic, researchers found that eating nuts is associated with greater weight loss, better diet compliance, and improved satiety (Mattes, Kris-Etherton, & Foster, 2008).
Choose one of these nuts to succeed in losing weight.
Almonds for Weight Loss
Almonds are considered one of nature’s “superfoods” for their rich content of protein, antioxidants, magnesium and heart-healthy fats. This makes them an excellent addition to your weight loss diet.
In a study of 65 overweight or obese adults, eating a diet high in almonds was associated with greater weight loss, decreased waist circumference, lower body fat, and reduced systolic blood pressure (Wein et al., 2003).
These benefits are thought to be due to almonds’ high content of mono unsaturated fats. Out of the 11 grams of fat in a serving of almonds, 7 grams are from these beneficial mono-unsaturated fatty acids (WH Foods, 2015).
Cashews for Weight Loss
Cashew nuts are light in colour and delicate in taste. With a a unique curved shape, one serving of these nuts (about 16 to 18 nuts) contains 13 grams of fat and 5 grams of protein (MacMillan, 2015).
Cashews are also an excellent source of magnesium, with a 100-gram serving (about an ounce) providing 73% of your recommended daily value of magnesium (Nutrition and You, 2015).
Magnesium is essential for regulating the metabolism of fat and carbohydrates (Volpe, 2014), which may help you lose weight. In addition to eating raw cashews, spreading cashew butter on whole-wheat toast is a great way to boost your consumption of these healthy nuts.
Brazil Nuts for Weight Loss
Large Brazil nuts have a unique texture and flavour that makes them a favourite of many. These nuts contain beneficial palmitoleic acid and oleic acid, which promote healthy cholesterol levels (Nutrition and You, 2015). Plus, Brazil nuts are one of the best known sources of the trace mineral selenium. Each serving of Brazil nuts contains more than 100% of your recommended daily intake of selenium, which acts as an antioxidant that may boost your immune functioning (National Institutes of Health, 2016).
Walnuts for Weight Loss
Like all nuts, walnuts are high in heart-healthy unsaturated fats. However, walnuts are unique in that they contain high levels of polyunsaturated fats (other nuts typically contain high amounts of mono-unsaturated fats). There are several types of polyunsaturated fats; the form found primarily in plant foods is known as alpha-linolenic acid, or ALA. ALA has been shown to decrease risk of cardiovascular disease and other chronic conditions (Erlich, 2014). It may also stimulate your body to lose weight faster.
Walnuts contain 2.5 grams of ALA per serving, making them a rich source of this beneficial fatty acid. In a recent study of 245 women, a walnut-rich diet was associated with greater weight loss, lower levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol, and higher levels of “good” HDL cholesterol (Le et al., 2016). This suggests that eating a handful of walnuts every day could help to stimulate fat loss and promote a healthy body weight.
Pistachios for Weight Loss
The delicate green colour and unique flavour of pistachios make them a favourite to toss into smoothies, to add to baked goods, or to simply eat as a snack. Each one-ounce serving of pistachios contains 3 grams of dietary fibre, or 12% of your recommended daily intake (Self Nutrition Data, 2015).
Getting enough dietary fibre helps your body feel fuller, sending signals to your brain that prevent you from experiencing intense food cravings. This can help you lose weight and burn more fat. In a recent scientific study, a pistachio-rich diet was associated with significantly smaller waist size, a sign that participants on the high-pistachio diet dropped excess belly fat (Girdwain, 2014).