Nuts are a very popular food.They’re tasty, convenient and can be enjoyed on all kinds of diets.Despite being high in fat, they also have a number of impressive benefits for your health
What Are Nuts?
Nuts are technically considered a fruit. However, unlike most types of fruit, they aren’t sweet and are high in fat.They contain a hard, inedible outer shell that usually needs to be cracked open to release the fruit inside.Fortunately, you can buy most nuts from the store “pre-shelled” so that you don’t have to crack them open yourself.
Here is a list of some of the most commonly consumed nuts:
- Brazil nuts
- Macadamia nuts
- Pine nuts
Although peanuts are technically legumes like peas and beans, they are often referred to as nuts because they have similar nutrition profiles and characteristics.
How many should I consume daily?
You should ideally consume 30 grams of nutes.
Well, it is not possible to weigh all the nuts each time at home. So here is a rough list to give you some idea on how many nuts to take per day, i.e., for 30-50 grams.
20 almonds/15 cashews/ 20 hazelnuts/ 15 macadamias/ 2tbsp pine nuts/ 60 pistachios in shells/ 10 whole walnuts/ 20 half walnuts per day can do the work for you. If you bought mixed nuts, then simply take a small handful of the mixture.
Healthy Body Weight
Although nuts are fairly high in calories—1 ounce of peanuts contains about 160 calories—a review published in a 2010 edition of the journal “Nutrients” reports that consuming nuts on a regular basis likely reduces your risk for obesity, and may even help with weight loss. A review published in a 2009 edition of the “American Journal of Clinical Nutrition” also found that consuming nuts is associated with lower body weight and reduced risk for obesity. The protein, fiber and healthy fats in nuts can help increase satiety–or feeling full–which could help you avoid overeating.
Reduced Heart Disease Risks
Eating nuts on a regular basis may reduce your risk for heart disease, which is a leading cause of death in the United States. According to a review published in a 2010 edition of “Current Atherosclerosis Reports,” nut consumption is associated with a reduced incidence of coronary heart disease in both men and women. This review also reports that nut intake helps reduce blood cholesterol levels, which may account for the reduction in heart disease among nut eaters. These benefits can be attributed to the fiber and heart-healthy unsaturated fats nuts contain.
Reduced Diabetes Risks
Reviews published in “Current Atherosclerosis Reports,” the journal “Nutrients” and the “American Journal of Clinical Nutrition” all report that that eating nuts on a regular basis may help reduce the risk of diabetes in women. Since obesity increases your risk for developing diabetes, nuts’ role in maintaining a healthy body weight is beneficial for diabetes prevention. For people already diagnosed with diabetes, nuts are a healthy addition to a diabetic diet; nuts contain few carbohydrates and have a low glycemic index, which can help control blood sugar levels.
Considerations for Children
Early exposure to nuts may not be such as bad thing, as research once showed. In fact, a study published in a 2012 edition of the “Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology” reports that nut consumption during pregnancy may decrease the risk for nut allergy in children. A study published in a 2008 edition of the “Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology” found that children who were exposed to peanuts during their first year of life had a lower incidence of peanut allergies compared to children who avoided peanuts as infants. However, always talk with your doctor before offering nuts to young children—they may pose a choking hazard—or eating nuts when pregnant or breastfeeding.
Nuts Can Help You Lose Weight
Although they’re considered a high-calorie food, research suggests that nuts may actually help you lose weight.One large study called the PREDIMED study assessed the effects of the Mediterranean diet.
Analysis of data from a subgroup of the study found that those assigned to eat nuts lost an average of 2 inches (5 cm) from their waists, which is significantly more than those assigned to eat olive oil .
Almonds have consistently been shown to promote weight loss rather than weight gain in controlled studies. One study found that pistachios may also be helpful for weight loss.
In one study of overweight women, those who consumed almonds lost nearly three times as much weight and experienced a significantly greater decrease in waist size compared to the control group.
What’s more, even though the calorie counts listed for nuts are quite high, studies have shown that your body doesn’t absorb all of them. This is because a portion of fat stays trapped within the nut’s fibrous wall during digestion.
For instance, the nutrition facts on a package of almonds may indicate that a 1-oz (28-gram) serving has 160–170 calories, but your body only absorbs about 129 of those calories.
Similarly, recent studies have found that your body absorbs about 21% fewer calories from walnuts and 5% fewer calories from pistachios than had previously been reported .