The perfect snack: Nuts are an excellent addition to any diet

Researchers have found a new healthy snack to any diet. A new study from the Loma Linda University School of Public Health and the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) finds that nuts can prevent obesity, as reported by The Daily Mail.

The researchers, gathering data from the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition, examine the diets, body mass indexes, and lifestyles of 373,293 people from 10 European countries between the ages of 25 and 70. Study subjects who were not in the habit of eating nuts gained almost an average of approximately 5 lbs or 2.1 kg each during the five years of study, while those who ate nuts frequently lost weight, thus leading researchers to conclude that people who consume nuts regularly have a five percent less chance of  gaining extra pounds contrary to those who do not eat nuts regularly.

“Eat nuts during your meal,” says senior researcher Joan Sabaté, director of the Center for Nutrition, Lifestyle and Disease Prevention at Loma Linda University School of Public Health in California. “Put them at the center of your plate to replace animal products. They’re very satiating,” he advises.

He suggests that nuts should replace animal fats and advises that people should eat nuts more often as they give energy, good fats, protein, vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals.

Unlike Sabaté’s study in the past in which he examined and found how nuts are linked with the a lot of health benefits for seniors such as promoting healthy aging and improving memory function, this new study evaluated the relationship of nut consumption and weight loss on a large scale. The nuts that are included in this new study — which was published in an online journal of the European Journal of Nutrition — are peanuts, almonds, hazelnuts, pistachios, and walnuts.

Five kinds of nuts to snack on for weight loss

Nuts are often perceived to be a bad choice of snack for those who are trying to lose weight because they contain high fat, but this belief is debunked by the new study. Sabaté notes that the fat they contain are mostly good fats, which are only 1.5 g of saturated fat per serving of mixed nuts. “To me, this confirms that nuts are not an obesogenic food,” says Sabaté. Nuts are packed with protein, fiber, and essential fats, and are low in carbohydrates, which stimulate the body to burn excess fat and lose extra pounds.

There are at least five types of nuts that are good for losing weight. Almonds are considered as superfoods because they are rich in protein, antioxidants, and heart-healthy fats, which make them a great addition to the diet of people who are trying to lose weight. Cashews are uniquely curved in shape, light in color, and have a delicate taste. A serving of cashews of about 16 to 18 nuts contain 12 g of fat and five grams of protein. These nuts are also rich in magnesium, which is important for regulating fat and carbohydrate metabolism, which in turn aids in losing weight.

Another type of nut that is ideal for weight loss is the Brazil nuts. These nuts are unique in texture and flavor and contain acids — palmitoleic and oleic — which promote health cholesterol levels. They also contain selenium, which acts as an antioxidant that may assist the proper functioning of the immune system. Aside from having heart-healthy unsaturated fats, walnuts also contain high levels of polyunsaturated fats that lower the risk of cardiovascular disease and may also stimulate the body in losing weight.

Lastly, the green-colored and unique tasting pistachios are also a good addition in weight-loss programs. An ounce of serving of pistachios contains 3 g of dietary fiber that may help in making the body feel fuller, thus helping in losing weight and burning more fat. (Related: Nuts About Nuts? 5 Top Healthy Nuts to Feast On.)

Go nuts for other nutritious foods! Read more about them

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