While it is true that nuts are high in fat, this need not be a reason to get the diet conscious alarm bells ringing. Why is this?
It is because they they are high in the good kind of unsaturated fats that are heart healthy and genuinely a great nutritional addition to the diet.
But if they are high in fat can they still help you lose weight?
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The answer is most definitely when they are eaten in conjunction with other healthy foods and are limited to one serving per day in place of other less healthy fatty foods. You know the kinds of thing that are all too easy to nibble and graze on, but actually deliver zero benefits and are detrimental to any healthy eating plan.
Why nuts work – Protein
Nuts are not just high in fat but also contains protein. Of the three macronutrients, protein is the one most associated with satiation, meaning it satisfies your hunger. So not only are you eating healthily, you are consuming sensible amounts and not being tempted to reach for the sugary rubbish just to give you the sensation of being ‘full’.
When protein is part of a meal the digestion of carbohydrates consumed in the same meal is slowed, so your blood sugar stays level for longer and you are not craving foods again for a few hours.
This is key when trying to lose weight.
If your diet is too low in calories especially those from protein you will get hungry too soon and run the risk of overeating and gaining weight. Nuts are also high in fiber which adds to satiety as well.
What does research say about nuts?
According to one recent study in the Journal of Clinical Nutrition Research “regular consumption (approximately one handful daily) of nuts over the long term, as a replacement to less healthful foods, can be incorporated as a component of a healthy diet for the prevention of obesity and type 2 diabetes”.
The recommendation for a serving size is generally a “handful” which is around a one ounce serving. However, according to Cleveland Clinic, a one-ounce serving of nuts greatly differs.
The following equal one ounce:
– 24 almonds
– 18 medium cashews
– 12 hazelnuts or filberts
– 8 medium Brazil nuts
– 12 macadamia nuts
– 35 peanuts
– 15 pecan halves
– 14 English walnut halves.
A one-ounce serving of nuts contains between 160 and 200 calories.
How can I incorporate nuts into my diet?
Some suggestions for adding these healthy nuts into a weight loss diet:
1. Sprinkle a one oz. serving to your favorite whole-grain cereal or yogurt in the morning
2. Have them as part of healthy afternoon snack with a piece of fruit and a serving of low fat regular or soy cheese
3. Put them on top of a green salad.
Nuts are satiating, high in heart healthy fats and fiber and can be incorporated into a healthy balanced weight loss plan which includes one ounce servings per day in place of other less healthy fats.
Connect with Expert Susanne Winchester.