Nuts are healthy as they are packed with nutrients and antioxidants. However, a majority of people on a weight loss regimen avoid including them in their diet because they fear their fats and calories.
That is a mere misconception. In reality, nuts can help you lose weight.
We’ll share with you the best nuts for weight loss but first, let’s unravel the truth first.
Studies on How Nuts Aid in Weight Loss
Nuts are rich in calories. A large part of them contains fat which is a concentrated source of energy. 1 gram of fat has up to 9 calories while a gram of protein contains only 4 calories.
This high concentration of fats and calories makes many people on a weight loss diet assume that adding nuts can make them gain weight. To bust this idea, a lot of studies have been conducted over the years.
One particular study involving 8865 men and women over a 28-month period found that those who ate two or more portions of nuts every week increased their chances of losing weight by 31% compared to the placebo group. Another review involving 36 studies reported that taking nuts is not associated with increased body weight, waist size or BMI.
In a controlled study, where the participants adhered to a strict diet, the inclusion of different types of nuts to their diet did not lead to changes in body weight. More importantly, where the nuts were included in a diet of people on an unrestricted diet, nut consumption did not cause weight gain.
A study involving 65 obese patients compared a low-calorie diet which has complex carbs to a low-calorie diet enhanced with nuts. They took equal amounts of cholesterol, calories, protein, and saturated fats.
After a 24-week period, the people on the almond diet had reduced weight by 62%, fat mass by 56% and waist circumference by 50%. The groups also experienced improved cholesterol, including reduced LDL and triglycerides. The other group did not encounter such benefits.
How Nuts Aid in Weight Loss
Nuts have a complex structure, which means that unless they are chewed up completely or ground up, a large proportion only passes the gut without digestion. As such, they are not absorbed and are lost in fecal matter. It explains why nuts are weight loss friendly.
Here are some of the best nuts for weight loss you can add to your diet:
Apart from being heart-healthy, walnuts contain unsaturated fats which help reduce abdominal fat. They come in handy for people on a weight loss regimen as they also improve insulin metabolism. They are unique as they are rich in polyunsaturated fats, unlike other kinds of nuts that have high levels of monounsaturated fats.
Walnuts have Alpha-Linolenic Acid (ALA). It helps reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular and other chronic diseases. Walnuts have 183 calories and 18 grams of fat of which 2.5 grams of fat contain ALA. It makes walnuts a rich source of the essential fatty acid.
A research on 245 women showed that a diet rich in walnuts helped them lose weight, reduced the levels of bad cholesterol (LDL), and improved the levels of good cholesterol (HDL).
You can add these nuts to your salad or mix them with your breakfast oats.
A serving of cashew nuts contains five grams of protein and thirteen grams of fat. Cashew nuts are also an excellent source of magnesium. In fact, a 100-gram serving of cashew nuts provides up to 73% of the daily value of magnesium.
This mineral is essential for regulating the amount of carbohydrates in the body and metabolism of fat, which helps you lose weight.
Apart from taking raw cashew nuts, you can also try spreading cashew butter on whole-wheat toast to up your intake of these healthy nuts.
Their unique color and flavor make them a favorite ingredient in morning green smoothies, morning snacks, and baked recipes.
A serving of pistachios has three grams of dietary fiber which is 12% of the recommended daily intake. Dietary fiber helps the body feel satiated for long, which helps rid of intense food craving. This helps you lose weight fast and burn more calories.
A study involving participants who included an afternoon snack of pistachios achieved lower triglycerides and body weight.
Nut Recipes You Should Try Out
If you want to avoid gluten products, then this banana bread is the right snack for you. You can eat it for breakfast, dessert or snack.
A snack of gluten-free banana bread made of walnuts allows you to enjoy the benefits of ALA while enjoying the satiety of protein. Plus, walnuts can add a delicious crunch to this snack.
For this recipe you will need:
- A couple of overripe bananas
- Brown rice flour
- Baking powder
- Baking soda
- Vanilla extract
- Almond milk
- Gluten-free rolled oats
- Coconut flour
- Preheat the oven to 350 F.
- Apply oil and flour on the baking pan and set it aside.
- Whisk the wet ingredients (two eggs, coconut oil, bananas, honey, almond milk, applesauce) in a mixing bowl.
- Then, fold in the dry ingredients (baking soda, brown rice flour, baking powder, walnuts, gluten-free oats, coconut flour, salt) and combine until the mixture is smooth and thick.
- Pour the mixture into the baking pan.
- You can sprinkle some oats over the butter.
- Allow the batter to bake for 55 minutes until the tester comes out clean.
- Remove it from the oven and let it sit for twenty minutes in the baking pan.
- Allow it to cool on a wire rack and cut it into slices for breakfast.
Clearly, nuts are essential for people who want to shed off a few pounds. The right proportion of the best nuts for weight loss also provide numerous other health benefits.