Nuts and seeds have been shown to display many nutritional benefits, studies have linked consumption of nuts to better cardiovascular health, fertility, and improved cognitive function. More recent studies have begun to find a connection between consumption of nuts and increased weight loss.
A study by the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health assessed the effects of nuts on weight loss while another study by the School of Exercise and Nutritional Sciences at the San Diego State University examined its connection to satiety, blood sugar, and its effect on insulin response.
The Harvard study explored nut consumption in approximately 120,000 individuals (both men and women). Each subject was required to fill out a food frequency questionnaire every four years. Researchers provided all subjects with 1 ounce servings of nuts in place of their usual unhealthy snacks. They found that making this simple substitution decreased weight gain overall as well as decreasing risk for obesity.
The SDSU study took a closer look at the effects of Brazil nuts on insulin responses. The team of researchers examined 22 healthy adults, 20 of whom were women. Two trials were conducted with each participant either consuming 36 grams of pretzels or 20 grams of Brazil nuts. 48 hours were allowed between each trial. Both snacks had an equal amount of sodium and calories, however, the nuts increased overall satiety. Blood sugar and insulin levels were assessed 40 minutes after consumption. The group that consumed pretzels demonstrated a spike in both blood sugar and insulin though the other group did not. The author of the study states, “While both Brazil nuts and pretzels increased a sense of fullness after they were eaten, eating Brazil nuts stabilized postprandial blood glucose and insulin levels, which may be beneficial in preventing diabetes and weight gain.”
Substituting nuts for another unhealthy snack during your day can help you feel full and maintain a healthy level of glucose while reducing the risk of obesity and diabetes!
Research on this topic is still new and ongoing. Check out the article Daily serving of nuts may stave off weight gain, for more information.
Contributed by: Sofia Sepulveda
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