All too often, the foods we seem to crave the most are the worst for us.
Foods like macaroni and cheese, potato chips, ice cream, and nuts.
But what if I were to tell you that one of those fatty foods was no longer off limits? That in fact, eating a serving of this “forbidden” food daily could help keep the weight off.
Plus it could support your heart health at the same time.
Sounds like a dream, right?
Well, it isn’t. Because it turns out rich and tasty nuts aren’t just delicious. They make a terrific, HEALTHY snack too.
Now if you’re a long time Healthier Talk reader, you’ve probably heard me sing the praises of nuts before today. Because this is far from the first time science has tried to remove these nutritional powerhouses from the no-no list.
PROVEN… these fatty foods help keep us slim
But now TWO new studies have once again put the spotlight on the benefits of this delicious, protein-packed snack.
The first study reaffirmed the ability of nuts to help us maintain a healthy weight. Because it turns out that despite their reputation as a high-calorie fatty food that will put pounds on your hips, nuts have a positive influence on your long-term body weight.
For the huge analysis, Harvard researchers tracked the eating habits of several groups of healthy health professionals. They had the volunteer’s complete extensive food-frequency questionnaires every four years.
And they found that folks who ate an ounce of any kind of nuts… about a small fistful… in place of another lower-nutrition snack were far less likely to gain weight.
And in the end that could make a BIG difference. Because according to experts we tend to gain around a pound a year, once we become adults.
Which is why nut eaters are far less likely to become obese too.
Nuts could help improve your blood sugar
For study number two researchers wanted to find out if eating Brazil nuts could help us…
- feel fuller
- improve our glucose and insulin responses
And, spoiler alert, the nuts were winners across the board.
For the study, volunteers ate their usual diets. But in addition, they ate either 36 ounces of pretzels or 20 grams of Brazil nuts (about five nuts).
The snacks were about equal in calories. But the responses by the participant’s bodies weren’t equal at all.
When they ate either pretzels or nuts, it helped relieve their hunger. But the Brazil nuts left folks feeling far fuller. And that could mean less snacking. And lead to smaller portions at meal times too.
But the differences didn’t end there.
When the volunteers ate the pretzels, within 40 minutes their blood glucose and insulin levels shot through the roof. The Brazil nuts, on the other hand, didn’t cause a significant bump in blood glucose or insulin.
Which means eating these fatty foods could help keep us from gaining weight and reduce our risk for diabetes.
Plus the results of both nut-positive studies point to them being heart healthy too. In fact, making them a regular part of your diet could help slash your risk for heart attacks and stroke, according to the researchers.
Nuts bring bunches of health benefits to the table
And as I mentioned this isn’t the first time research has revealed eating “forbidden” nuts can have bunches of health benefits.
Almonds contain plenty of magnesium and calcium. Plus they’re a good source of disease-fighting antioxidants such as vitamin E and selenium. They’re high in colon-cancer fighting fiber and could help lower your cholesterol too.
Pecans contain a bunch of critical vitamins and minerals that can help keep us healthy. And studies have found they could help lower our cholesterol.
Brazil nuts will help raise your magnesium, copper, vitamin E, and niacin levels. And research hints they could help reduce our risk of certain cancers and improve our cholesterol.
Walnuts can help keep you healthy from head to toe. They’re rich in brain-boosting omega-3s. Research has tied them to healthier blood pressure and better cholesterol. They support bone health and better blood sugar control. And animal studies have linked walnuts to significant reductions in prostate and breast cancer growth.
The jury is in. It’s time to put these “forbidden fatty foods” BACK on your menu. Replacing just one snack a day with a handful of nuts could help you fight weight gain, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes.