Can consuming nuts prevent weight gain?
Numerous studies have shown the health benefits of nuts but as they are high in fat and calories, many people hesitate to consume them. But new research from the American Heart Association suggests nuts can prevent weight gain and provide other cardiovascular benefits, making them a healthy snack substitute.
One serving of nuts in place of a serving of low nutritional food was associated with less weight gain over the four-year intervals.
The research was based on two separate preliminary studies. The first study analysed the influence of eating nuts and peanuts on long-term body weight in men and women in the US. For this study, the researchers followed health professionals who were free of any chronic diseases at the onset of the study. Nut consumption was assessed through a food-frequency questionnaire submitted to participants every four years in three different groups of 25,394 men in the Health Professionals Follow-up Study, 53,541 women in the Nurse’s Health Study and 47,255 women in the Nurse’s Health Study II in follow-up research.
The researchers found that eating just one ounce (approximately 28 grams) daily of any type of nuts or peanuts was associated with a lower risk of long-term weight gain and obesity over the four-year intervals. They also found that one serving of any types of nuts in place of a serving of low nutritional food such as red meat, processed meat, French fries, desserts or potato chips was associated with less weight gain over the four-year intervals.
The second study was conducted at San Diego State University in 2017 and involved 22 healthy adults (20 women and two men) aged 20 or older with a mean body mass index of 22.3. They consumed either 36 grams of pretzels or 20 grams of Brazil nuts (about five nuts) in addition to their usual diet. Both the Brazil nuts and the pretzels had the same amount of calories and sodium. Participants ate either one in two trials with a break of at least 48 hours to prevent any carryover effects.
Both groups experienced a sense of fullness, but the participants who ate Brazil nuts experienced the greatest sense of fullness. Pretzel consumption caused an increase in blood glucose and insulin levels within 40 minutes of eating whereas consumption of Brazil nuts stabilised these levels, which may be beneficial in preventing diabetes and weight gain, according to the scientists.
The researchers recommend that adding one serving of nuts to your diet in place of less healthy snacks may help prevent you from gaining weight and reduce your risk of diabetes and obesity-related cardiovascular diseases.
Source: American Heart Association
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