Last Updated on March 14, 2021 by admin
Like many people, one of your current goals is to lose weight. You don’t want to try fad diets and crash eating habits that will only cause your weight to rebound later. Instead, you’d like to focus on a healthy food, such as nuts, to fuel your weight loss. Is this possible?
Yes, nuts can be a main part of a healthful diet when trying to lose weight. There’s a misconception that due to their higher caloric and fat content that nuts are not good for you, but the opposite is true. They provide fullness, could trigger fat burning, and your body doesn’t even absorb all the fat in the nuts.
So you really can lose weight eating nuts? Are certain nuts better for this than others? How many nuts should be you be eating a day? In this article, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about getting your weight on track through consuming nuts, so keep reading!
How Can You Lose Weight Eating Nuts?
As we said in the intro, nuts tend to contain two things that we avoid when looking to lose weight: calories and fat. It might not make sense to you then how weight loss can occur with a diet heavy in nuts, so allow us to explain.
One such way that nuts can promote weight loss is through providing satiety and fullness. Most of the time, when dieting, you’re hungry because you’re depriving yourself of certain foods. When eating nuts, you get fuller faster. This can reduce the secretive binge eating and snacking that some dieters fall into because they’re starving by the end of the day.
There is research to back this up, of course. A 2011 study in the Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism followed more than 200 adults over a period. Each of them snacked on peanuts. By substituting a daily snack for peanuts instead of something else (even a full meal), the participants reduced their calorie consumption because they were fuller.
It’s possible that hormones like cholecystokinin and peptide YY may play a role in not feeling as hungry, as may the unsaturated fats and protein in nuts, of which there’s a lot of both.
Besides keeping you fuller longer, another way that nuts can help you lose weight is through torching calories and fat. In 2009, Clinical Nutrition published a report that found that, compared to eating dairy, calorie burning increased by 28 percent when a dish incorporated walnuts.
While it’s believed that overweight and obese people experience more fat burning through eating nuts than those who are slimmer, there seems to be a connection nonetheless. That said, even experts agree more research will need to be done in this area.
How Many Nuts Should You Eat Daily for Weight Loss?
Okay, so you’re ready to get on board the nut train to begin losing weight. Should you eat nuts as a meal or just a snack?
The International Journal of Obesity and Related Metabolic Disorders did a study back in 2003 that focused on more than 60 respondents who reported being either obese or overweight. The participants were split into two groups, those who ate complex carbohydrates while cutting calories and those who consumed more almonds while cutting calories. The saturated fat, cholesterol, protein, and calorie consumption was otherwise the same between the two groups.
The study went on for 24 weeks, with researchers reviewing the diets and health of each participant. After the study wrapped up, it was proven that the group eating nuts had the better results. Their fat mass dropped by 56 percent, their waist circumference was 50 percent less, and their BMI and weight had decreased by 62 percent.
The key here then is to eat nuts as a supplement to a healthy diet rather than as the main part of that diet itself. In fact, to stick to a healthy quantity of nuts to enjoy each day, it’s recommended you consume 30 grams. That’s 20 hazelnuts, 15 cashews, or 20 almonds.
Which Nuts Should You Eat to Lose Weight?
There’s a whole wide world of nuts out there, some you may not have even heard of before. Which ones should you focus on in your weight loss efforts? Here are a few great, familiar picks to start with.
Cashews contain magnesium, which controls our carbs and fat metabolism. Besides that, the protein in cashews also makes them a smart choice for a lower weight and more fat burning.
Continue getting that protein with a healthy serving of Brazil nuts. These also contain plenty of fiber, increasing that feeling of fullness we talked about before. Besides that, it’s believed Brazil nuts can influence metabolism for the better, burn fat with L-arginine, and promote weight loss through their thiamine, phosphorus, magnesium, and selenium content.
Not only are pistachios super tasty, but they’re good for you, too. Their monounsaturated fats can help you reach your weight loss goals while their protein content promotes muscle tissue growth.
The unsaturated fats in walnuts are great for the heart (because remember, not all fats are bad). These nuts are also chock full of vitamins, plant-sterols, and omega-3 fatty acids for keeping you fuller.
A favorite nut for many, almonds are so beloved in part because they contain L-arginine. This amino acid kickstarts the fat burning process. Further, with plenty of dietary fiber for fullness as well as monounsaturated fats, almonds are a savvy snacking choice all around.
Can Nuts Make You Gain Weight?
The average serving size of nuts (about 28 grams) does not paint the prettiest picture. Cashews contain 155 calories, pistachios 156 calories, almonds 161 calories, Brazil nuts 184 whopping calories, and walnuts 183 calories. Can nuts truly help you lose weight? Looking at this info, it would seem like the opposite would be true.
There are two reasons nuts can reduce our weight rather than increase it. For one, the feeling of fullness that nuts induce in us keeps us from eating other unhealthy things. The Journal of the American College of Nutrition and many other sources have noted that by eating less thanks to adding nuts to your diet, the calories they do contain kind of get balanced out.
The fat content of nuts can also be high. For cashews and pistachios, it’s 12 grams, and it increases to 14 grams for almonds, 18 grams for walnuts, and 19 grams of fat for Brazil nuts. Yet there’s also proof through lots of data that our bodies don’t absorb the full fat content of nuts.
That’s due to the fiber, which is often quite high in nuts. You’d have to completely chew the nuts to almost nothing to absorb their full fat content. When you eat them normally, the nut pieces don’t all get digested. They pass through to the bowels, where they’re released via feces. This can happen at a rate of five to 20 percent according to studies done on the topic.
So yes, nuts may contain a lot of fat, but that fat seems to move through your body, exiting instead of being absorbed fully.
You also absorb the least fat when eating nuts whole rather than nut-based products. A study published in The New England Journal of Medicine noted that when you enjoy peanut oil, only 4.5 percent of the fat is released through feces. For peanut butter, it’s just seven percent. Yet if you eat whole peanuts, you lose 17.8 percent of that fat.
Despite their higher fat and caloric content, nuts can trigger weight loss rather than cause it. This is due to how nuts make us fuller, as well as the fat-burning amino acids within nuts. By eating less after having nuts, the higher caloric content of the nuts gets canceled out. Also, it’s proven that we don’t even digest all the fat, keeping our diets on track.
If you’re trying to eat healthier to lose weight, make sure you incorporate nuts into your daily diet! Best of luck.