Although many already think it’s a myth, there are still thousands of people who don’t eat nuts or that don’t value them because of their high calorie content per 100g. We’ve all seen people snacking on biscuits and still saying no to a handful of peanuts to avoid gaining weight.
However, up-to-date scientific evidence shows us that eating nuts not only doesn’t make people gain weight, but it can actually help with weight loss. A study by Harvard Nurses found that nuts can increase our energy expenditure in rest by 11%. This means that those who eat nuts could be ‘burning’ more calories by eating them than by breathing. This could be due to some of the nutrients present in nuts, such as arginine or bioflavonoids, and their fiber content, although I would like to point out that it is the content of the whole food that is responsible for its benefits. I emphasize the importance of this finding in a time when we are constantly looking for miraculous pills to get rid of those unwanted pounds.
But there’s more. It has also been shown that a handful of nuts could avoid tumor growth and reduce body inflammation levels. It has been seen that when you eat harmful fats, such as animal or processed fats, body inflammation increases. Also, if you consume too much extra virgin olive oil, even though there is no inflammation risk, you might gain fat and extra calories from poor nutrients that are highly energetic; however, if you eat nuts instead, you can avoid inflammation and fat gain. Amazing, don’t you think? It’s no surprise that nature provides us with useful tools to live longer and better.
Another study showed that eating three handfuls of almonds a day considerably reduces overall body inflammation, and that three handfuls of pistachios could also improve arterial function.
Hence, you can feel full, reduce inflammation, get fiber, vitamins and minerals, and reduce cholesterol, all at once, just by including some nuts in your diet. You can do that by having them as an afternoon snack, by adding some seeds to your salad, or by having peanut butter with your breakfast.
I must add that, although peanuts are not really nuts but legumes, they still provide those same benefits. For instance, a Harvard study found that women who are at risk for heart conditions and who eat peanut butter daily are half as likely to have a heart stroke when compared to those who don’t eat peanut butter because of their fat content. Therefore, peanuts fall within the range of nut recommendations as they provide us with many benefits and help support our general wellbeing.
So, if you still have doubts, don’t hesitate to add nuts to your diet. Besides, they are also suitable for almost any diet, like vegan, ketogenic, gluten free, to gain muscle mass or even to lose fat.
• Rajaram, S., Connell, K. y Sabaté, J. (2010). Efecto de una dieta rica en
grasas monoinsaturadas enriquecida con almendras sobre marcadores
seleccionados de inflamación: un estudio cruzado, aleatorizado y
controlado. Revista británica de nutrición, 103 (6), 907-912. doi: 10.1017