Nuts protect you from being overweight

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – Despite the high-calorie intake of nuts, a daily intake may reduce weight gain, especially when substituting for foods with fewer health benefits, a new study suggests.

The researchers studied 126,190 healthy middle-aged adults for 20 to 24 years. Initially, participants had a healthy weight or a slight weight gain. By the end of the study, about 17% of the participants were obese.

People who increase their nuts intake to about 14 grams a day are 3 percent less likely to be obese, the researchers report in the British Journal of Medicine.

They added that eating walnuts daily in a similar amount is associated with a 15% lower risk of obesity while eating nuts such as cashews and almonds are associated with an 11% lower risk of obesity.

Dr. Deirdre Toubais, a professor at Harvard Medical School in Boston and the lead author of the study, said increasing nuts in the daily diet could help maintain a healthy weight in several ways.

“Nuts contain a high percentage of healthy fats and fiber that give a sense of satiety for a longer period than eating processed carbohydrates and other easily digestible foods,” she said in an e-mail.

And advised avoiding nuts covered with salt or sugar for the best nutritional benefit.

Participants were found to have gained an average of 0.32 kilograms of weight each year throughout the study period, but every half of the nuts added to the daily diet were associated with lower weight gain.

The study also found that adding nuts to food per day was associated with a 4 percent reduction in the likelihood of being overweight by more than two kilograms or overweight by more than five kilograms every four years.

comments powered by Disqus