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Tuesday, 7 January 2020

Just A Handful Of Nuts May Help Keep Us From Packing On The Pounds As We Age


"Eating a handful of almonds, walnuts, peanuts or any type of nut on a regular basis may help prevent excessive weight gain and even lower the risk of obesity, new research suggests. 

It may be that substituting healthy nuts for unhealthy snacks is a simple strategy to ward off the gradual weight gain that often accompanies aging, according to the researchers. Nuts also help us feel full longer, which might offset cravings for junk food. 

Researchers looked at the diet and weight of more than 280,000 adults taking part in three long-term research studies. Over more than 20 years of monitoring, participants were asked every four years about their weight and, among other things, how often, over the preceding year, they had eaten a serving (about one ounce) of nuts. 

On average, U.S. adults put on one pound of weight every year, according to researcher and epidemiologist Deirdre Tobias, a co-author of the new study, which appears in the online journal BMJ Nutrition, Prevention & Health. "We wanted to know whether nuts were associated with long-term weight gain," says Tobias, who's with Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. Tobias and her colleagues hypothesized that nuts might be beneficial, given the association of nuts with a lower risk of heart disease and Type 2 diabetes. 

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. That may not sound like a big difference, but Tobias says, "Those half-pounds add up over time." 

It's important to note that we're not talking about piles of nuts — just a small handful a day, which Tobias says is about a dozen almonds or maybe 10 walnuts. 

In analysing data about participants' diets, researchers were able to see that as nuts became a more regular part of people's diets, their unhealthy food consumption decreased, including foods such as processed meats, refined grains and desserts like chocolates, pastries, pies and doughnuts. 

"When you increase nuts at the expense of these other snack foods, there's an even greater benefit," says Tobias. A consistent nut intake of 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. 

But nuts' role in weight maintenance goes beyond merely acting as a substitute for pastries. "Nuts have protein in them, which helps us feel full longer, and fibre, which helps fill us up," says Libby Mills, spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. And because nuts are high in healthy fat, Mills says, they take much longer to digest than carbs and protein, and that can also "make us feel full longer." 

As a registered dietitian, Mills says most of her clients are seeking to lose weight. They "love nuts," she says, so for them, the findings are welcome news. "They find them an easy, convenient snack to keep at their desk, perhaps individually packaged, tucked into a purse or gym bag, so they're always super-handy and perfect for people on the go." 

So next time you find yourself craving something between meals, the take-home message here is clear: Go for the nuts — not the cookies. 

And here's an added benefit: A nut habit is good for the planet, say the researchers. "In addition to the impact on human health, using environmentally friendly plant-based protein, such as nuts and seeds, to replace animal sources of protein may contribute to the promotion of a global sustainable food system," they write." 

Words, picture above from article here
h/t to Dr Steve Parker at Diabetic Mediterranean Diet Blog here 

Related Post
Health Benefits of Nuts - find it here



We bring a variety of articles, studies etc. plus recent news/views and recipe ideas to this blog, we hope something for everyone to read and enjoy. Please note, not all may be suitable for you.

If you may have any food allergies, or underlying health issues these must always be taken into account. If you are a diabetic and not sure how certain foods may affect your blood sugars, test is best, i.e. use your meter.

All the best Jan

36 comments:

Tom said...

...but for me a handful becomes two or three.

DUTA said...

Well, not according to my experience. I like nuts and almonds but seldom eat them as they are a sure way for me to gain weight. I appreciate them, however, as reserve food
in times of emergency.

Valerie-Jael said...

Sounds great, I love nuts. Valerie

Chris Lally said...

Plant based protein is right up my alley. Great post, Jan! Thanks for the wonderful information:)

Divers and Sundry said...

I started adding nuts to me daily diet last year and decided to use a measuring spoon as a scoop to keep me from piling them too high. I like them in yoghurt or just plain. I hadn't realized that people tend to gain that much weight each year. That would definitely mount up!

(got an error message and so am re-posting. please delete this if it's a duplicate, thx)

Khaya Ronkainen said...

Oh yes, I love nuts of any kind. They make for a good snack, more especially when I'm working from home with easy access to the fridge. :-) I'm really glad to read more about their nutritional value.

Elephant's Child said...

Sadly I have trouble keeping my handsful of nuts small. Love them. And add them to lots of dishes too.

Laurie said...

All great reasons to eat nuts!

Christine said...

Love nuts!

Snowbird said...

That's interesting Jan....I'll be buying nuts tomorrow.xxx

Chatty Crone said...

Nuts are excellent and taste good and very $$$$$$$$$$$$$$!

Susan Kane said...

How big is the hand?

Sandi said...

This is good news!

Lowcarb team member said...

Hello everyone, many thanks for your thoughts and comments so far.

Yes nuts can be very moreish …
It's important to note that we're not talking about piles of nuts — just a small handful a day, which Tobias (in the original article) says is about a dozen almonds or maybe 10 walnuts.

All the best Jan

Jan/JFM said...

I love nuts so I can do this :)

My name is Erika. said...

This is a really fascinating. I enjoyed this since I like a handful of nuts. Thanks for sharing.

The Joy of Home with Martha Ellen said...

Very nice article about nuts, Jan. We keep almonds and peanuts in our pantry. I try not to go over a handful in one day. Thanks for the information as always!

Angie said...

Jan - great news. A handful of cashews is often my go-to snack mid-way through the evening. Of course, it helps that we don't keep cookies and those kinds of snacks in the house (most of the time)!

Iris Flavia said...

Yupp had walnuts yesterday and felt better with my stomach aches.

Lee said...

I have some raw mixed nuts almost every day. I've always got a large jar of them on the bench. I love them!

italiafinlandia said...

Good to know.
Happy New Year and happy blogging to you, Jan!

eileeninmd said...

Hello,

I do enjoy eating nuts, it is nice they have so many benefits. Have a happy day!

Sami said...

I eat nuts every day, instead of sweet things. Thanks for the great articles Jan.

Martha said...

I really like eating nuts. Right now we're enjoying cashews.

Conniecrafter said...

I will have to say that I eat nuts almost everyday, and I don't know that it helps me with my weight as I am very overweight but I do know that it is very filling, great snack if you are out all day hiking, easy to take along and munch on.

A Brit in Tennessee said...

This is wonderful news, especially since I'm a regular not eater, especially almonds and pecans.
Thank you for sharing your informative information, it is always a fascinating read.
Wishing you and yours a Happy and Healthy New Year !
Hugs,
~Jo

Jeanie said...

Love this! Now, if only I could stop at a handful!

Thickethouse.wordpress said...

I love nuts, but am aware that almonds use a lot of water in their cultivation. This can be a problem.

Teresa said...

Me encantan me gustan todas. Besitos.

Carla from The River said...

I am a fan of nuts. :-)

Debbie said...

i alway enjoy nuts and we got a lot as christmas gifts!!

carol l mckenna said...

Love nuts ~ have always used them as a filler ~ great post ~ ^_^

Happy Moments to You ,
A ShutterBug Explores,
aka (A Creative Harbor)

Bob Bushell said...

Nuts, oh, I can't get enough of nuts. I love 'em.

Phil Slade said...

Keep it quiet but I found some good value walnuts in Home Bargains. Otherwise very expensive and moreish.

William Kendall said...

A good idea.

Diabetic Friendly Recipes said...


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