Should Nuts be Avoided Because They are Fattening?

The high amount of fat and calories that are found in nuts have raised a lot of controversy as to whether they are good for you. Researchers have found that nuts are in fact good for you, as they have many health benefits and can even help you to lose weight.

Monounsaturated and Polyunsaturated Fats

Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are found in nuts and in nut oils. These are the good kinds of fats that your body needs for proper growth and development. They are essential for transporting fat-soluble vitamins such as A, D, E and K throughout your body for better absorption.

Research has shown that monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats will not increase your low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels. But instead they help to lower them so that you can reduce plaque formation along the walls of the arteries, and thereby prevent high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke.

Avoiding Nuts

Raw or lightly toasted nuts should not be avoided, but rather be consumed on a daily basis. You can obtain many health benefits from them. However, you should take caution that you do not eat too many nuts in one day, as the calories will add up fast. A good way to incorporate them into your diet is to use them in moderation to replace unhealthy foods or snacks.

Nuts are high in protein, which means that they are a great substitute for meat. Nuts are also great in trail mixes and are easy to take along and snack on throughout your day.

How Fattening are They?

A six-month study was conducted on 81 healthy adults. During these 6 months they were given 60 grams of raw or dry-roasted almonds and no other changes were made to their diets. The researchers expected them to gain up to 14 lbs. due to the high amounts of calories and fats. But instead the average weight gain was 1.3 lbs. for men, and 0.3 lbs. for women.

Essential for Weight Loss

Other research shows that when nuts are combined with a healthy diet or weight loss program they can actually help you to lose weight. This is mainly due to the fact that the fats in nuts take longer to digest, and therefore you feel fuller longer after eating them.

On top of that, the monounsaturated fats found in nuts contain a hormone known as adiponectin. This hormone helps the body to break down fat cells as opposed to muscle cells. This is essential for weight loss because even though muscle cells weigh more, you don’t want to lose them because they can also help you to burn excess fat.

Even though nuts are high in calories, they also contain lots of valuable nutrients per calorie. Therefore, they can help you to reduce your overall calorie intake, as they will help you to reduce your cravings for other high calorie foods that offer no valuable nutrients. Some of the tastiest nuts to add to your diet are almonds, walnuts, pistachios, pecans and macadamia nuts.

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