July 31st, 2019 | Updated on May 18th, 2020
Today we’re going to be talking about nuts. Now stop laughing like a schoolboy because we’re not talking about those kinds of nuts. The nuts we’re looking at today are going to be the best nuts for weight loss.
Virtually every single person reading this article will have wanted to lose weight at some point, be it for health reasons, athletic reasons, or aesthetic reasons.
If you have indeed tried shifting some stubborn body fat in the past, you’ll know how much hard work it takes. To effectively lose weight you need to be getting enough exercise, along with getting plenty of nutritional food inside you.
People often avoid nuts like the plague when trying to lose weight because of the fact that nuts are high in calories and high in fats.
The fats found in nuts are incredibly healthy, and when you combine these with the protein and other nutrients found in them, you can see why nutritionists recommend them as healthy snacks.
Here’s a look at 6 of the best nuts for weight loss.
Almonds are, without a doubt, one of the healthiest nuts in existence. Almonds are considered by many to be Mother Nature’s weight loss pill.
Almonds have shown great promise when it comes to weight loss, despite being rich in natural oils and high in calories.
Almonds are nutritious and are packed full of natural goodness, including Vitamin E, fiber, magnesium, and good fats.
Almonds may also help to reduce harmful LDL cholesterol levels in the body, which could help prevent strokes, atherosclerosis, heart disease, heart attacks, and much more.
There’s also evidence that supports the theory that almonds can prevent blood sugar spikes, which would control insulin. Insulin is a fat-storing hormone, so almonds could make a great addition to your weight loss diet.
Walnuts are known as brain food. Heck, if you look at them they even look like small and delicious brains. They’re a great source of alpha-linolenic acid or ALA for short.
ALA is an essential omega 3 fatty acid that provides numerous health benefits for the human body.
In terms of weight loss, the healthy fats found in walnuts help to increase the metabolism, which in turn means that you will burn more calories and generate more energy.
More energy means more productive workouts. Walnuts are also rich in fiber, which will promote satiety so you’ll stay full for longer and consume less food.
They’re also beneficial for the brain and can improve your mood and enhance mental clarity and focus.
3. Cashew Nuts
If you’re a fan of Asian cuisine, you’ll be familiar with cashew nuts. Cashew nuts are used in a variety of different dishes and add a delicious nutty taste and texture to a wide range of dishes.
In terms of health benefits, cashew nuts are a great source of protein, which helps to elevate the metabolism and promote satiety as it digests slower than fat and carbs.
This means that you’ll burn more calories, plus you’ll stay full for longer, so you’ll be more likely to eat less. The minerals in cashew nuts are also very important when it comes to regulating the metabolism.
People generally associate pecan nuts with unhealthy foods because they’re widely used in desserts. Pecan nuts and maple syrup go together like salt and vinegar on fish and chips, but that doesn’t mean that pecans by themselves are unhealthy.
Pecan nuts are rich in polyphenols, which function as powerful antioxidants within the body. These antioxidants help to boost the metabolism and keep everything ticking over internally as it should.
A 28g gram serving of pecan nuts will provide you with 20g of fats, but the fats found in these nuts are good fats which help to reduce LDL cholesterol.
As long as you’re not consuming too many, pecans will help you to lose weight and get in shape.
5. Macadamia Nuts
Macadamia nuts are another example of one of the best nuts for weight loss. These awesome little nuts are rich in monounsaturated fats and have been heavily linked with cardiovascular health and wellness.
According to astralnutrition.com, the monounsaturated fats found in macadamia nuts help to reduce dangerous LDL cholesterol in the body, which in turn can reduce blood pressure and promote cardiovascular health.
This, in turn, can boost circulation which will improve athletic performance as there will be more red blood cells transporting oxygen around your body, which your cells can then use for fuel.
For losing weight, the more energy you have, the more exercise you can perform and the more calories you’ll burn.
6. Brazil Nuts
Brazil nuts are native to a tree found in the wild in the Amazon. No, we don’t mean the online shopping store, we mean the rainforest.
These too are amongst the best nuts for weight loss as they’re rich in healthy fats, calories for energy, vitamin E, and minerals such as magnesium and selenium.
In fact, Brazils are loaded full of selenium which has antioxidant properties. Just a one-ounce serving of Brazil nuts will provide you with over 100% of your recommended daily intake for selenium.
As well as that, Brazils also help to improve oxygen transportation in the body by boosting circulation. They also provide anti-inflammatory properties which can assist with pain management.
So, as you can see, when it comes to choosing the best nuts for weight loss, there are plenty of options for you to choose from.
As long as you consume them in conjunction with a healthy diet, and you monitor how many you eat, you’ll find that the pounds melt away.
Nutrients In Nuts And Seeds
Overall, nuts have very similar macronutrient (protein, carbohydrate and fat) profiles, but different types of nuts may have slightly different micronutrient (vitamin and mineral) content.
Nuts have about 29 kJ of energy per gram, and are:
- High in monounsaturated fats (most nut types) and polyunsaturated fats (mainly walnuts)
- Low in saturated fats
- Good sources of dietary protein, hence a good alternative to animal proteins. Some nuts are also high in amino acid arginine, which keeps blood vessels healthy
- Free of dietary cholesterol
- High in dietary fibre
- Rich in phytochemicals that act as antioxidants
- Rich in vitamins E, B6, niacin and folate; and they provide minerals such as magnesium, zinc, plant iron, calcium, copper, selenium, phosphorus and potassium.
Like nuts, most seeds are rich in protein, healthy fats, fibre, minerals such as magnesium, potassium, calcium, plant iron and zinc, and contain vitamins B1,B2, B3 and vitamin E. Oily seeds also contain antioxidants that stop the fats from going rancid too quickly.
Due to the unique nutrient profiles of nuts and seeds, they are known to provide several health benefits, including:
- Helping with weight regulation
- Reducing risk for heart disease
- Reducing risk for diabetes.
Nuts And Body Weight
Although nuts and seeds are high in energy and fats, eating nuts is not associated with weight gain. In fact, based on large population studies, higher nut intake has been found to be associated with lower body weight.
When included as part of a weight-loss diet, nuts have been shown to further promote weight loss and fat loss in the abdominal region. Lower fat in the abdominal region means lower risk for chronic diseases such as heart disease and diabetes. Therefore, nuts can be part of a healthy diet. The Australian Dietary Guidelines recommend a daily consumption of 30 grams of nuts per day.
Nuts assist with weight regulation in several ways:
- Fat absorption – fats in nuts are not fully digested and absorbed by the body. Research shows that only 68 to 94 per cent of fats from nuts are absorbed
- Hunger and fullness – nut consumption promotes fullness and suppresses hunger or the desire to eat. As a result, food intake is reduced. This effect is due to the protein, fat and fibre content of nuts
- Energy expenditure – some research suggests that eating nuts can increase the amount of energy we burn. Another study shows that the energy we burn following a nut-enriched meal comes from fat sources, meaning that we burn more fat and store less fat in the body.
Lower fat absorption, reduced food intake, and greater energy expenditure collectively contribute to the weight regulating effects of nuts. The effect of seeds on body weight has not been researched extensively but is likely to be similar to that of nuts as they are also high in protein, healthy fat and fibre.
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