Nuts for Weight Loss: Study Finds They Enhance Reduced-Calorie Diets

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Nuts are nutrient-rich foods renowned for their numerous . But does the fear of weight gain hold you back from indulging? Researchers have now discovered that including nuts in a reduced-calorie diet can actually help with .

A recent study, which reviewed data from seven clinical trials, uncovered a fascinating trend: in four of these trials, the inclusion of nuts in the diet was associated with weight . The researchers also noted that none of the trials showed an adverse effect on weight loss when nuts were included as part of the diet.

“Nuts are a nutrient-rich snack that can help achieve recommended intakes of essential nutrients during energy restriction and therefore should be included in future ER weight loss diets,” the researchers wrote in the study published in the journal Reviews.

“People often avoid nuts when trying to lose weight because they think that the energy and fat content in nuts can contribute to weight gain. But in fact, nuts are rich in healthy unsaturated fats, plant protein, and dietary fiber, all of which play a role in promoting satiety and reducing excess calorie consumption. Nuts are associated with improved cardiovascular and metabolic health, better gut health, and enhanced cognitive performance,” Alison Coates, a study author from the University of South Australia, said in a news release.

All the clinical trials involved participants who were on an energy-restricted diet. This meant they either followed a specific energy target or reduced their calorie intake by 1,000–4,200 kJ.

In four of the seven studies, people who ate 42-84g of nuts as part of an energy-restricted diet lost significantly more weight than those on ER diets without nuts. These “nut-enriched” diets led to an extra weight loss of 1.4-7.4 kg, possibly because nuts help curb hunger more effectively.

“Nuts are an important part of many people's diets because they provide a taste and texture you can't find in other food groups, while also being a healthy, on-the-go snack. For people who enjoy eating nuts, knowing that they can help meet weight-loss goals, while also improving your overall health is a huge plus. It's also great for health professionals who can be confident in recommending nuts, in the context of a healthy diet, without concerns of an adverse effect on weight,” said Dr. Sharayah Carter, co-author of the study.

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