Researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the Harvard School of Public Health found three times as many people trying to lose weight were able to stick to a Mediterranean-style moderate-fat weight loss diet that included…
Researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the Harvard School of Public Health found three times as many people trying to lose weight were able to stick to a Mediterranean-style moderate-fat weight loss diet that included nuts, peanuts and peanut butter versus the traditionally recommended low-fat diet. (International Journal of Obesity.
As long as you control total calories, eating a handful of nuts daily may help prevent weight gain and possibly promote weight loss. The fat, protein and fiber in nuts help you feel full longer, so you may eat less during the day. By helping induce a feeling of satiety, nuts may help people feel less deprived and not like they’re “dieting.” Just limit your portion to a healthy handful.
Women in a Harvard School of Public Health study who reported eating 5 or more 1 ounce servings of nuts/peanuts per week reduced their risk of Type 2 diabetes by almost 30 percent compared to those who rarely or never ate nuts. Women in the study who ate five tablespoons of peanut butter each week reduced their risk for Type 2 diabetes almost 20 percent. (Journal of the American Medical Association.
Some nutrients associated with nuts include magnesium, manganese, protein, fiber, zinc and phosphorus.
A sampling of nuts in the news for their contribution to specific nutrients include:
- Walnuts. One ounce of walnuts (about 14 shelled walnut halves) is all that is needed to meet the dietary recommendation of the Food Nutrition Board of the National Academies’ Institute of Medicine for omega-3 fatty acids.
- Almonds. One ounce of almonds (about 20 to 24 shelled whole almonds) provides 35 percent of your daily value for vitamin E. Vitamin E may help promote healthy aging. A study reported in the Journal of the American Association suggests a diet rich in foods containing vitamin E may help protect some people against Alzheimer’s disease. The study also found vitamin E in the form of supplements was not associated with a reduction in the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
- Peanuts. Though often discussed with nuts, peanuts are a legume along with dry beans, peas and lentils. One ounce of roasted peanuts provides about 10 percent of the daily value of folate, a B vitamin recommended to help reduce the incidence of birth defects and lower the risk of heart disease.
- Peanuts also are an excellent source of niacin, providing about 20 percent of the daily value. As a group, nuts also are important for what they DON’T offer:
- Cholesterol. Nuts are cholesterol-free.
- Sodium. Unless salt is added to nuts, they naturally contain, at most, just a trace of sodium.