After hearing a lot of people saying that nuts make you fat I think it is about time to explain more about that because after you make some research you will find why that’s so absurd. Here I will explain some claims and also talk about the benefits of eating nuts.
Most people assume that since nuts have a high content of fats and energy then they deduce that nuts make you fat.
Before we get into that topic let’s start by making a superficial analysis of other nutrients and characteristics found on nuts.
Nuts are rich in protein and fiber which increase satiety. In other words, whenever you eat nuts you will feel fuller for longer periods of times. «Wink, Wink», you can see where we’re going with that.
Nuts also contain high quantities of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and phytosterols that may confer health benefits for our health. For example, it’s great to delay or prevent cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.
I want to add something very important. Nuts are not going to heal any disease but nuts will strengthen your body which in consequence will destroy the illness. What I’m saying is that the collection of natural foods that you consume will eventually help you recover your health.
Nuts make you fat
Now it’s time to focus on the relationship between consuming nuts and weight gain.
There are several independent studies that had found how an increase of nut consumption is related to a lower weight gain along the time. With this alone I think is pretty clear that nuts don’t make you fat, but now I will try to explain the reasons. In any case, you can find the references at the bottom.
Nuts and Walnuts, in particular, are highly associated with a lower diabetes risk.
A constant consumption of nuts (handful approximately) over the years helps to replace toxic foods like ultra-processed foods that are the most used as a snack. Nuts are great to avoid diabetes and obesity.
The foods and your lifestyle are very important to achieve and maintain a healthy weight. It also helps in the prevention of chronic diseases. All the nuts are part of a healthy meal so if you haven’t eaten nuts yet then it’s a great time to start adding them on a daily basis.
Since nuts are rich sources of vegetable protein, fiber, antioxidants, sterols, and unsaturated fatty acids, nuts are really good to reduce the risk of chronic diseases.
It’s true that nuts have been blamed as having high energy density and high levels of fat (mainly unsaturated) which lead to thinking that nuts can produce obesity or weight gain.
That’s why I say that principles are so important for our health. A lot of people anything because they don’t have strong principles. One of the most important principles of Natural Medicine is that every natural food is good for our health. So, we don’t need studies to be sure about this and even though there might come other studies against other natural foods we can be sure they’re wrong and eventually we found why.
Today we know that those people claiming nuts as unhealthy are wildly wrong because nuts are rich in nutrients that boost our health and even it help us maintain a healthy weight by improving our muscle fat.
There’s research that has found that the fiber on nuts is associated with a reduction of BMI (Body Mass Index), waist-to-hip ratio, as well as fasting concentrations of apolipoprotein B and glucose.
Other analysis on investigations about nuts, body weight, and insulin resistance that included a number of cross-sectional studies concluded that adding nuts to our diet is not related to an increase in body weight but instead it is related to a decrease of body weight and the consumption of nuts is related to an improvement in insulin sensitivity.
Consuming nuts instead of red meat have shown to reduce the risk of diabetes on 21%. Even more, when you replace processed meat with nuts you can reduce the probability of diabetes on 32% and if you replace non-processed meat with nuts you reduce diabetes risk up to 20%.
We have seen how the consumption of nuts increases satiety for its high content of proteins and fiber but turns out that its content of unsaturated fats potentially helps to reduce fat accumulation.
Protein, fiber and unsaturated fat on nuts can increase thermogenesis and resting energy expenditure.
High quantities of fiber (especially viscous fiber) on nuts can slow down the digestive process to improve the digestion of nutrients and that’s why we say it increases satiety.
Nuts contains a great variety of nutrients like vitamins, minerals, phytosterols, and antioxidants (as folic acid, vitamin E, vitamin B6, calcium, magnesium, copper, zinc, selenium, phosphorus, arginine, potassium, and niacin) that may all have additional benefits for the prevention of chronic diseases such as cancer.
Additionally, you should know that it’s very important to chew correctly because when you don’t chew nuts properly you might be wasting its energy by limiting the number of lipids liberated from the nut.
Thinking that nuts make you fat is a big mistake that shows our necessity to focus on the sources and not on the nutrients themselves.
I hope you find this article very useful and on the next time you listen someone saying that nuts make you fat then you can reply with “seriously?! you should follow Lenus”.
I will be sharing more studies related to other foods and about your doubts so tell me if there’s any specific you want to know but first subscribe to our newsletter by [clicking here].
Finally, don’t forget to Stay Healthy and to Subscribe!
See you in the next post. Tschüss!
These are some studies that are related to the claims above about Nuts make you fat so take your time by reading them:
- Long-term associations of nut consumption with body weight and obesity | Chandra L Jackson and Frank B Hu | Am J Clin Nutr. 2014 Jul; 100(1): 408S–411S. | [Link]
- Nut consumption, weight gain and obesity: Epidemiological evidence. | Martínez-González MA1, Bes-Rastrollo M. | Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis. 2011 Jun;21 Suppl 1:S40-5. doi: 10.1016/j.numecd.2010.11.005. Epub 2011 Jan 8. | [Link]
- Health benefits of nuts: potential role of antioxidants. | Blomhoff R, Carlsen MH, Andersen LF, Jacobs DR Jr. | Br J Nutr. 2006 Nov;96 Suppl 2:S52-60. | [Link]
- Other relevant components of nuts: phytosterols, folate and minerals. | Segura R, Javierre C, Lizarraga MA, Ros E. | Br J Nutr. 2006 Nov;96 Suppl 2:S36-44. | [Link]
- Almonds vs complex carbohydrates in a weight reduction program. | Wien MA, Sabaté JM, Iklé DN, Cole SE, Kandeel FR. | Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 2003 Nov;27(11):1365-72. | [Link]
- Influence of body mass index and serum lipids on the cholesterol-lowering effects of almonds in free-living individuals. | Jaceldo-Siegl K, Sabaté J, Batech M, Fraser GE. | Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis. 2011 Jun;21 Suppl 1:S7-13. doi: 10.1016/j.numecd.2011.03.007. Epub 2011 May 12. | [Link]
- A randomized trial of the effects of an almond-enriched, hypocaloric diet in the treatment of obesity. | Foster GD, Shantz KL, Vander Veur SS, Oliver TL, Lent MR, Virus A, Szapary PO, Rader DJ, Zemel BS, Gilden-Tsai A. | Am J Clin Nutr. 2012 Aug;96(2):249-54. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.112.037895. Epub 2012 Jun 27. | [Link]
- Pistachio nuts reduce triglycerides and body weight by comparison to refined carbohydrate snack in obese subjects on a 12-week weight loss program. | Li Z1, Song R, Nguyen C, Zerlin A, Karp H, Naowamondhol K, Thames G, Gao K, Li L, Tseng CH, Henning SM, Heber D. | J Am Coll Nutr. 2010 Jun;29(3):198-203. | [Link]
- Does regular walnut consumption lead to weight gain? | Sabaté J, Cordero-Macintyre Z, Siapco G, Torabian S, Haddad E. | Br J Nutr. 2005 Nov;94(5):859-64. | [Link]
- A review of the evidence: nuts and body weight. | Natoli S, McCoy P. | Asia Pac J Clin Nutr. 2007;16(4):588-97. | [Link]
- Nut consumption and body weight. | Sabaté J | Am J Clin Nutr. 2003 Sep;78(3 Suppl):647S-650S. | [Link]
- Nuts, body weight and insulin resistance. | Rajaram S, Sabaté J. | Br J Nutr. 2006 Nov;96 Suppl 2:S79-86. | [Link]
- Dietary fiber intake and risk factors for cardiovascular disease in French adults. | Lairon D, Arnault N, Bertrais S, Planells R, Clero E, Hercberg S, Boutron-Ruault MC. | Am J Clin Nutr. 2005 Dec;82(6):1185-94. | [Link]
- Adherence to the traditional mediterranean diet is inversely associated with body mass index and obesity in a spanish population. | Schröder H, Marrugat J, Vila J, Covas MI, Elosua R. | J Nutr. 2004 Dec;134(12):3355-61. | [Link]
- Nut consumption and weight gain in a Mediterranean cohort: The SUN study. | Bes-Rastrollo M, Sabaté J, Gómez-Gracia E, Alonso A, Martínez JA, Martínez-González MA. | Obesity (Silver Spring). 2007 Jan;15(1):107-16. | [Link]
- Prospective study of nut consumption, long-term weight change, and obesity risk in women. | Bes-Rastrollo M, Wedick NM, Martinez-Gonzalez MA, Li TY, Sampson L, Hu FB. | Am J Clin Nutr. 2009 Jun;89(6):1913-9. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.2008.27276. Epub 2009 Apr 29. | [Link]
- Changes in diet and lifestyle and long-term weight gain in women and men. | Mozaffarian D, Hao T, Rimm EB, Willett WC, Hu FB. | N Engl J Med. 2011 Jun 23;364(25):2392-404. doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa1014296. | [Link]
- Nut and peanut butter consumption and risk of type 2 diabetes in women. | Jiang R, Manson JE, Stampfer MJ, Liu S, Willett WC, Hu FB. | JAMA. 2002 Nov 27;288(20):2554-60. | [Link]
- Walnut consumption is associated with lower risk of type 2 diabetes in women. | Pan A, Sun Q, Manson JE, Willett WC, Hu FB. | J Nutr. 2013 Apr;143(4):512-8. doi: 10.3945/jn.112.172171. Epub 2013 Feb 20. | [Link]
- Reduction in the incidence of type 2 diabetes with the Mediterranean diet: results of the PREDIMED-Reus nutrition intervention randomized trial. | Salas-Salvadó J, Bulló M, Babio N, Martínez-González MÁ, Ibarrola-Jurado N, Basora J, Estruch R, Covas MI, Corella D, Arós F, Ruiz-Gutiérrez V, Ros E; PREDIMED Study Investigators. | Diabetes Care. 2011 Jan;34(1):14-9. doi: 10.2337/dc10-1288. Epub 2010 Oct 7. | [Link]
- Effects of chronic peanut consumption on energy balance and hedonics. | Alper CM, Mattes RD. | Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 2002 Aug;26(8):1129-37. | [Link]
- Viscous and nonviscous fibres, nonabsorbable and low glycaemic index carbohydrates, blood lipids and coronary heart disease. | Jenkins DJ, Kendall CW, Axelsen M, Augustin LS, Vuksan V. | Curr Opin Lipidol. 2000 Feb;11(1):49-56. | [Link]
- Mastication of almonds: effects of lipid bioaccessibility, appetite, and hormone response. | Cassady BA, Hollis JH, Fulford AD, Considine RV, Mattes RD. | Am J Clin Nutr. 2009 Mar;89(3):794-800. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.2008.26669. Epub 2009 Jan 14. | [Link]
- Frequent nut consumption and risk of coronary heart disease in women: prospective cohort study. | Hu FB, Stampfer MJ, Manson JE, Rimm EB, Colditz GA, Rosner BA, Speizer FE, Hennekens CH, Willett WC. | BMJ. 1998 Nov 14;317(7169):1341-5. | [Link]