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I would like to know if eating nuts make you fat. I have been trying to lose weight
for the past 2 months, and I often snack on nuts (almonds, pecans and pistachios)
rather than munching on chips and chocolate cookies. Will this sabotage my weight
loss goals since nuts have a high calorie and fat content? – Emilia, Minnesota.
Does Eating Nuts Make You Fat?
It's great that you nibble on nuts instead of unhealthy snacks, but make sure you
watch your portion sizes – nuts are super easy to overeat and pack on extra pounds.
You're right about their high caloric and fat values, but the good news is nuts are
a very nutritious food that's extremely beneficial for your overall health. Most
nuts, including walnuts, cashew nuts, pecans, Brazil nuts, and hazelnuts are chock-full
of many Vitamins and minerals such as magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, copper, and
selenium. Nuts are generally cholesterol-free, and also contain phytochemicals such
as phytoestrogens (isoflavones) and phenolic compounds, ellagic acid and flavonoids.
Numerous studies have shown that nuts can protect against heart disease and even
type 2 diabetes. One study found that people who ate a small handful of nuts 5 times
per week could cut their heart disease risk in half.
In addition, certain types of nuts such as almonds, pecans, hazelnuts and walnuts
can help lower LDL "bad" cholesterol levels and help keep blood vessels healthy.
This could be due to their high content of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats
(good fats), antioxidants, Vitamins and minerals, folate and arginine.
Nuts are also a rich source of protein, thus making them a good alternative to meat.
So if you're eating nuts, you might want to reduce your total daily protein intake
from other food sources such as meat or fish to avoid protein overload. Excessive
protein consumption is not only counterproductive to your weight loss goals, but
can also increase your risk of gout, liver and kidney problems.
If you're not a huge fan of oily fish, then you may want to consume walnuts on a
regular basis because they're particularly high in the heart-healthy omega-3 fatty
acid ALA, or alpha linolenic acid.
Are Nuts Fattening?
Many dieters avoid nuts because they are high in fat, and hence mistakenly assume
that eating nuts will make them gain weight. However, there is sufficient evidence
to suggest that nuts won't contribute to weight gain, if consumed in limited amounts
as part of a healthy well balanced diet.
According to a study published in the International Journal of Obesity and Related
Metabolic Disorders, it was found that eating almonds may help you lose weight and
keep the weight off. The study analyzed whether overweight participants eating 84
grams of almonds a day on a low calorie diet or a diet high in complex carbs would
be more effective in weight loss. After 6 months, it was concluded that the almond-enriched
diet resulted in greater weight loss and fat loss. The researchers also found that
those on the almond diet were able to maintain their weight loss efforts better than
the non-almond group.
Furthermore, nuts have also been shown to have a very positive effect on satiety
because they're high in protein, fat and fiber. That means, you'll feel hungry and
satisfied after eating nuts, and therefore you're less likely to binge eat or snack
How Not to Gain Weight Eating Nuts?
Nuts are high in calories and can be rather fattening so my advice is to consume
them in moderation. To prevent mindless eating, buy per-portioned packs or divide
a big bag of nuts into small seal-able bags yourself. Or, take one small handful
and put the entire package away.
It's also a good idea to snack on nuts in the shell such as pistachios. You’ll probably
consume less since it takes time to remove the shells, and the sight of empty shells
will discourage you from eating too many mindlessly.
Always choose nuts that are high in protein and low in saturated fat such as almonds,
pistachios, walnuts, hazelnuts and pine nuts. While cashew nuts and Brazil nuts are
also rich in protein, they also come with higher saturated fat contents. Pecans and
macadamia nuts have more calories as compared to other nuts, so just eat small amounts.
There are plenty of ways to enjoy the flavor, crunch and health benefits of nuts.
You can sprinkle sliced almonds or chopped walnuts over soups or salads instead of
croutons; top low fat yogurt with toasted mixed nuts in place of granola. Try adding
pine nuts when making fettuccine pasta and pesto sauce for good nutrition; cashews
taste great in a variety of Asian-style stir fry dishes.
Take note that chopped, ground and roasted nuts (especially Brazil nuts and pine
nuts) tend to turn rancid more quickly than whole nuts. Make sure to store them in
the freezer or refrigerator.
What food items fall under the negative calorie foods list to burn calories and fat,
and help you lose more weight? Find out how to stay thin while munching away nutrient-packed
negative calorie fruits and vegetables.
Are store-bought nibbles eating up a big chunk of your food budget? Find simple-to-make
cheap and healthy snack ideas that will keep your waistline trim and taste buds perfectly
happy! Great for picky kids and adults.