Most nuts are high in fat, but most of the fat they contain is healthy, monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fat (although nuts also contain some saturated fat). Nuts can help you lose weight because they’re filling and satiating, and the fats found in them can boost your metabolism and increase feelings of fullness to help you stick to your diet plan and avoid unhealthy snacking throughout the day. Here are the six best nuts for weight loss.
Almonds are a good source of protein and fiber, which both aid in weight loss by keeping you feeling full. They’re also rich in magnesium, which can help lower blood pressure. These heart-healthy fats also work to keep your cholesterol levels in check. A handful of almonds will give you about 6 grams of protein and 4 grams of fiber per serving—not bad for a healthy little nut! (Make sure to stock up on a bag of dry roasted nuts; it’s harder to stop at just one handful when they’re fresh out of the oven.)
These nuts are high in healthy fats, which means that they can help you feel fuller longer. In fact, research from 2008 found that eating walnuts helps people lose weight and keep it off. People who added a daily handful of walnuts to a low-calorie diet lost more belly fat than those who followed the same diet but didn’t eat walnuts. Another study found that women who added walnuts to their diets maintained their weight loss better than those who ate a similar diet without nuts.
Researchers suspect that omega-3 fatty acids in walnuts may make you feel full faster and prevent you from overeating later in meals. Adding some nuts to your meals can be a great way to get healthier, lose weight and keep it off long term!
A study published in 2007 showed that eating 1.5 ounces of pistachios daily as part of a reduced-calorie diet helped reduce body weight more than a non-calorie-restricted diet. The researchers believe that pistachios’ effects on appetite may have contributed to weight loss. In addition, studies have shown that nuts help prevent abdominal obesity and can be effective in lowering LDL (bad) cholesterol levels and blood pressure. A meta-analysis published in 2013 found that nut consumption has a positive effect on body mass index (BMI). A study with rats found that after two weeks of adding unsalted pistachios to their diets, there was an increase in lean muscle mass.
A Good Source of Protein and Magnesium. A handful of hazelnuts (around 15 nuts) will give you about 4 grams of protein and about 100 milligrams of magnesium. Magnesium plays a role in metabolism by balancing calcium in muscle cells, which can help keep your muscles toned, even if you aren’t exercising much. People who don’t get enough magnesium may develop weak muscles or cramps as a result. Hazelnuts are also rich in fiber and essential nutrients like riboflavin (vitamin B2) and manganese.
5. Macadamia nuts
Macadamia nuts are high in healthy fats, which is why they make a good weight-loss snack. A study from Tel Aviv University in Israel discovered that eating just one serving of macadamia nuts could reduce your appetite and prevent you from consuming additional calories later in the day. Another study revealed that macadamia nuts help to lower cholesterol levels and improve heart health.
They’re also high in anti-inflammatory agents, antioxidants and monounsaturated fats, which can help reduce inflammation throughout your body. Macadamia nuts grow on trees cultivated primarily in Australia, Indonesia and South Africa.
6. Cashew Nuts
Cashew nuts are a little higher in calories than most other nuts, but they’re full of essential nutrients and healthy fats. (And you get to pronounce it like cash-EW.) Nutty and creamy with a hint of sweetness, cashews are one of our favourite treats when we want something salty. Plus, at 170 calories per cup, we don’t have to feel too guilty about snacking on them. Add cashews to your salads or eat them straight out of the bag—we won’t judge! Try working cashews into a trail mix with peanuts or almonds as well.
If you want to lose weight and keep it off, there’s no better way than getting more exercise. With more physical activity, you burn more calories and take in fewer—not to mention get toned. However, to make sure that you’re eating right as well, we recommend adding nuts into your diet.
While they can be high in fat and calories if eaten in excess (especially when not used in a recipe), nuts are a healthy snack choice. And since nuts are an excellent source of monounsaturated fats (the kind that helps lower cholesterol), research has shown that substituting fatty snacks with healthy alternatives like almonds or peanuts could help reduce body fat—while maintaining lean muscle mass.