That’s Nuts! Eat Nuts to Lose Weight
Once upon a time in this country, nuts were considered a high-fat indulgence. They were more likely to be featured as appetizers at cocktail parties than appear as foods integrated into daily meals. But nuts’ reputation is undergoing a makeover in the 21st century, and deservedly so. Evidence is quickly mounting that a diet enriched with nuts is just plain good for you. High in fiber, minerals, amino acids and heart-healthy fats, nuts are emerging as the new superfood. In addition to supplying beneficial antioxidants, they may also help control appetite.
This year, results were published detailing some of the findings from a large, longterm study in Spain. The PREDIMED study is examining the effects of the Mediterranean diet on cardiovascular disease risk. Among other intriguing findings, scientists report that nut consumption is associated with numerous beneficial outcomes.
Among people at high risk for cardiovascular disease (e.g. heart attack, stroke, atherosclerosis) those with the highest consumption of nuts were LEAST likely to be obese, to have the metabolic syndrome, or to be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. The relationship between nuts and obesity, for instance, was inverse; meaning the more nuts a person consumed, the less likely they were to be obese. At the very least, this suggests that, contrary to past assumptions, nuts may actually help a person maintain a healthy body weight, rather than encourage weight gain.
Ibarrola-Jurado N, Bulló M, Guasch-Ferré M, Ros E, Martínez-González MA, Corella D, et al. Cross-sectional assessment of nut consumption and obesity, metabolic syndrome and other cardiometabolic risk factors: the PREDIMED study. PLoS One. 2013;8(2):e57367. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0057367. Epub 2013 Feb 27.
O'Neil CE, Keast DR, Nicklas TA, Fulgoni VL 3rd. Nut consumption is associated with decreased health risk factors for cardiovascular disease and metabolic syndrome in U.S. adults: NHANES 1999-2004. J Am Coll Nutr. 2011 Dec;30(6):502-10.
Ros E. Health benefits of nut consumption. Nutrients. 2010 Jul;2(7):652-82. doi: 10.3390/nu2070683. Epub 2010 Jun 24.