Why Eating Raw Nuts Makes You Slimmer
“Raw nuts” There are so many wonderful foods you’ve had to give up in the quest to lose weight. Basically, everything with a high fat content – from ice cream to nuts – had to go. Until recently, that is. New research has put nuts back on the dieter’s menu. As it turns out, eating raw nuts, a high-fat and energy-dense food, is an excellent way of losing weight.
The common wisdom had always been that a food’s high fat content was a one-way ticket to your thighs and abdomen. But not all fats are created equal and some are actually good for you. Although it seems counter-intuitive, the weight loss properties of nuts have been demonstrated in one scientific study after another.
Researchers at Purdue University’s Department of Foods and Nutrition conducted an investigation led by R.D. Mattes and published in the Journal of Nutrition (1). The goal was to analyze data from nut studies worldwide to show whether nuts have a positive impact on weight loss and overall body mass index (BMI). Forty-three studies of various types were reviewed, representing the experiences of over 200,000 nut-eating humans.
The epidemiological studies that the researchers reviewed showed multiple benefits associated with adding nuts to the diet. As early as 1992, when Fraser and his team studied the protective effect of nuts on coronary heart disease in more than 31,000 Californians, it was noted that “higher nut consumers in this population were less obese” (2).
Nut eaters were shown to have better lipid and lipoprotein profiles, reducing their chances of developing heart disease (3). They also showed higher levels of antioxidant vitamins, dietary fiber and minerals. Most important for dieters, people who make nuts a part of their daily diet will see a reduction in their BMI. In his study “Nut consumption and body weight” Sabate points to the existing cumulative evidence that the frequency of nuts consumption and BMI are inversely associated (4).
These benefits of nuts were attributed to several factors, including better diet adherence. As anyone who’s ever dieted knows, starting a weight loss program is easy, but adhering to it is hard. People who followed weight loss programs that included nuts were found to continue with their diets longer than people who did not eat nuts (5).
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