Did you know that regularly snacking on nuts could potentially help you lose weight? New research suggests that including a variety of tree nuts in your diet may not only help you shed pounds but may also help you keep weight off in the long run too.
A new study published in the journal Nutrients found that adding in a mix of different tree nuts—which includes Brazil nuts, cashews, pine nuts, pistachios, walnuts, and macadamias—in a weight management program resulted in both significant weight loss and improved satiety. (Related: 15 Underrated Weight Loss Tips That Actually Work).
What did the study entail?
A group of 95 men and women who were either overweight or obese and between the ages of 30-68 years were split into two groups. One group was instructed to consume 1.5 ounces of mixed tree nuts while the other was told to have a pretzel snack. It’s important to note that both snacks contained the same amount of calories.
Each participant followed a hypocaloric weight loss diet, meaning they reduced their caloric intake by about 500 calories daily and focused on eating more foods with a high caloric density for about three months. The study ended with a 12-week isocaloric weight maintenance program.
The result? As it turns out, both groups demonstrated considerable weight loss in the first 12 weeks, however, those who continued to eat the nuts in the weight maintenance portion of the study proved to have increased levels of satiety. Researchers believe this is largely why the group that ate tree nuts also showed better weight management compared to the group that ate the pretzel snack. There was also a significantly lower dropout rate in the tree nut group than in the pretzel group.
Nuts are very calorie-dense so a portion as small as 1.5 ounces can range from 240 to 300 calories. They can also help you feel fuller for longer and as a result, prevent you from overindulging in”empty-calorie foods” (they cost you calories but don’t provide any nutrition) later in the day.
Almonds are another popular type of tree nut that may help boost satiety and, in part, drive weight loss as well as promote weight maintenance. A recent study revealed that about 20% of the calories sourced from fat in almonds are not absorbed in the digestive tract, meaning the number of calories listed on the back of a box of almonds doesn’t necessarily mean your body will absorb that much.
The researchers of this same study also found that participants didn’t gain weight despite consuming more fats and calories from almonds. The main takeaway? Tree nuts, when incorporated as a snack on a calorie-restricted diet, can be an effective way to lose weight and may also help you maintain your weight over time.
For more, be sure to check out What Happens To Your Body When You Eat Walnuts.