Myth or Fact: Do nuts make you fat?

July 27, 2017
Peanuts
July 24, 2017
7 Benefits
October 5, 2017
 

Nuts are well-known for their many health benefits...

and can help prevent some cancers and improve heart health among some of the great benefits. While this is great news, some may still worry that nuts are fattening due to their high fat and calorie content. While eating too much of anything will cause most people to gain weight, research suggests that eating nuts can actually help you in losing weight rather than picking up weight. According to an article in the The Journal of Nutrition in 2007, eating nuts on a regular basis is unlikely to lead to weight-gain.
 
Recommended calorie intake differs across the world and is dependant on your age, lifestyle, gender, build, etc. In the USA, the average recommended calorie intake for men is 2700 calories and 2200 for women. If you are trying to lose weight, you would probably reduce your calorie intake by 500 calories, but make sure to see a professional dietician to guide you. Based on these numbers, meals should consist of an estimate of 400 – 600 calories with snacks consisting of 100 – 200 calories, depending on how you split up your meals during the day. When we look at pecan nuts, 28 grammes (approximately a handful) will contain about 200 calories, which makes it a perfect snack in a healthy balanced diet. So, like any food, too much nutty goodness could contribute to an expanding waist line if you go overboard, but it is still a much better option than 99% of snacks and food bars that you buy at a store.
An article published in the British Journal of Nutrition in 2006, found that people who eat nuts on a regular basis tend to have lower body mass indexes, despite eating more calories than what was recommended. This is concurrent with research from The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (2009), which indicated that women who ate nuts more than twice a week were less likely to gain weight than women who never ate nuts. Because nuts are very filling, people tend to reduce their calories during the day, and thus the calories in nuts are beneficial to someone who aims to eat a healthy balanced diet. Tree nuts are ideal substitutes to unhealthy snacks, which when compared will be the lower option in calories or if not, it will be the more nutritious option.
The fat in tree nuts is part of what helps you feel fuller faster. The healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids along with the fibre found in tree nuts have been proven to have several health benefits and aids in reducing an individual's chances of suffering from diseases such as diabetes and cancer, according to a 2015 study in the International Journal of Epidemiology.
A number of studies have suggested that eating 28 grammes of nuts a day can have long term benefits. There will always be different opinions and some conflicting research, and so it is essential to get to know your own body and your own limits. While active individuals and children could quite easily consume nuts in large amounts with no effect on their weight, it is crucial to understand the importance of eating a balanced meal. Tree nuts, like pecans, are very nutritious and an important part of a healthy lifestyle, but take care to include it into your daily diet in moderation. Choose plain unsalted nuts or add your own salt and spices but avoid coated nuts, especially candy coated nuts. This will help you reap all the amazing benefits associated with tree nuts.

References

Bruso, J. (2017, July 18). Retrieved July 26, 2017, from Livestrong.com: http://www.livestrong.com/article/484953-can-eating-too-many-nuts-make-you-fat/
Pevzner, H. (2015, November 10). Eat Clean Scoops. Retrieved July 26, 2017, from Prevention: http://www.prevention.com/eatclean/nuts-make-you-fat
The Sydney Morning Herald. (2012, November 27). The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved July 26, 2017, from http://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/diet-and-fitness/chew-on-this/why-nuts-dont-make-you-fat-20121125-2a20m.html