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Go Nuts for Weight Control

Go Nuts for Weight Control

Replacing unhealthy foods, such as processed meat, with nuts can prevent weight gain.

In 1966, country music icon Johnny Cash released his twenty-third album, Everybody Loves a Nut. Filled with novelty songs, such as the title tune (“Everybody loves a nut; the whole world loves a weirdo. Brains are in a rut, but everybody loves a nut.”), he was sure right about one thing. Nuts are worthy of big love—for the amazing health benefits they bestow.

Their most recently discovered gift is weight control! Seems eating one ounce of whole nuts or two tablespoons of nut butter daily in place of red or processed meat, French fries or desserts may prevent long-term gradual weight gain and obesity. In a recent study presented at the American Heart Association meeting, Brazil nuts were the star, as they increase a sense of fullness and stabilize glucose and insulin responses. But all tree nuts, almonds and walnuts included, plus peanuts (a legume) provide substantial benefits.

The key: Don’t add nuts’ calories (almonds have 146 per ounce, Brazil nuts 196) to your daily intake. Replace other foods with them. You’ll tamp down your appetite and up your nutritional powers.

Other benefits: One study found a higher intake of nuts is associated with reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer and death from respiratory disease, diabetes and infections. Another shows the mono- and polyunsaturated fatty acids, proteins, fibers, vitamins, minerals and bioactive compounds in nuts help prevent or treat elevated glucose and LDL cholesterol levels and body-wide inflammation. Clearly, you’d be nuts not to take advantage of this tasty way to improve your health.

Medically reviewed in November 2018.

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