A Handful Of Nuts May Be The Best Way To Keep The Pounds Off

October 7, 2019

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As we age, we tend to pack on the pounds more easily and have a harder time keeping them off when we do lose weight. A new study has found a way to help accomplish that goal. If you think that's nuts, you're right!

Epidemiologist Deirdre Tobias, of Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston is a co-author of a new study that appears in the online journal BMJ Nutrition, Prevention & Health.  She says, "We wanted to know whether nuts were associated with long-term weight gain." The researchers found that making nuts a regular part of one's diet was associated with less long-term weight gain and a lower risk of obesity. The people who most consistently ate nuts gained, on average, about half a pound a year, while those who ate nuts only now and then gained, on average, about one pound each year.

When researchers looked at participants' diets, they noticed that as nuts became a more regular part of what they ate, their unhealthy food consumption decreased, including foods such as processed meats, refined grains and desserts like chocolates, pastries, pies and doughnuts. Eating nuts regularly, at least a half-ounce a day, was associated with a 23% lower risk of putting on 10 or more pounds or of becoming obese over a four-year period.

Libby Mills, spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics says, "Nuts have protein in them, which helps us feel full longer, and fiber, which helps fill us up." Adding that since they are high in healthy fat, they take much longer to digest than carbs and protein which in turn, can "make us feel full longer."