Nuts are a great source of nutrients (vitamin E, magnesium, protein), loaded with antioxidants, can lower cholesterol levels, are high in fibre and can even reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke.
That said, thanks to the high calorie and fat factor, when you think of weight-loss foods, nuts may not be the first to come to mind. But according to the latest research, eating nuts as part of a healthy diet may actually be good for your waistline.
So will eating nuts make you gain weight?
In short, the answer is no, nuts won’t lead to weight gain. That’s because most of the fat in nuts is monounsaturated and polyunsaturated, which are classified as ‘good fats’ because they can lower cholesterol levels.
Aside from that, our bodies don’t actually absorb all the fat found in nuts, according to Nuts for Life dietician, Belinda Neville. The fat in nuts is stored in their cell walls, which don’t easily break down during digestion.
“That’s why nuts are a really good option for those who are trying to watch their weight,” Neville says.
But the health benefits don’t stop at weight loss — nuts can also help lower cholesterol, reduce inflammation and reduce your risk of stroke.
Leading dietician and Mayver’s ambassador, Susie Burrell offered a similar point, saying that those who regularly eat nuts can generally maintain a healthier body weight. In fact, a recent study published in the online journal BMJ Nutrition, Prevention & Health found that eating nuts everyday could be a good way to prevent gaining weight as we age.
Burrell adds: “Nuts are also especially filling thanks to their high protein and fibre content which make them a great satisfying snack option.”
While there’s no single type of nut that is considered better than another, Neville reckons raw or roasted nuts are best, and suggests saving salted or flavoured nuts for parties or special occasions. Burrell agrees that you should limit roasted varieties.
“You do need to be little careful with roasted or flavoured options such as honey cashews which can contain added sugars and fats,” she says.
How many nuts should you eat?
The Australian Dietary Guidelines recommend a daily serving of 30g of nuts. This equates to a small handful, or roughly 15 to 20 nuts.
Nuts taste great plain, on salads, stir fries, or blended through a smoothie. Neville recommends substituting white flour for almond meal in cake recipes for a healthier option. “There’s lots of different ways you can incorporate more nuts into your diet,” she says.
Meanwhile, Burrell suggests adding a handful of mixed nuts into your afternoon routine.
“Not only will this help to ward off the pre-dinner munchies as nuts are a great source of protein and fibre, but the low-carbohydrate content of nuts will help to taper off your fuel intake towards the second half of the day which is conducive to weight control,” she says.
Important information: The information provided on this website is of a general nature and information purposes only. It does not take into account your personal health requirements or existing medical conditions. It is not personalised health advice and must not be relied upon as such.
Before making any decisions about your health or changes to medication, diet and exercise routines you should determine whether the information is appropriate in terms of your particular circumstances and seek advice from a medical professional.
Article reproduced from StartsAt60 by Penelope Pelecas