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Nuts & Weight Management


10 best nuts for weight control

All tree nuts help manage weight - yes they're high in fat - but it's OK because healthy fats play a role in managing weight. For many years we have avoided fats and followed low fat diets. But not any more. Healthy Fats are Back! Let's take a look at 10 nuts and how they help weight control. Enjoy a healthy handful of nuts each day.

Mixed nut tape measure 3 FB

ALMONDS

Adding almonds to meals not only helps you feel fuller for longer after that meal, but also the following meal too. Possibly the healthy fats, protein and fibre in almonds plays a role. Add almonds to breakfast and reap the rewards at lunch. High insulin levels can lead to weight gain so it's good news that eating almonds regularly can help lower insulin levels(1,2).

BRAZIL NUTS

A new study has found higher body fatness appears to be linked with lower levels of vitamin E, zinc, magnesium and selenium(3). Brazil nuts are rich in selenium, magnesium and zinc. Just 2 brazil nuts a day provides 100% of the RDI for selenium. And nuts such as almonds and hazelnut contain vitamin E.

CASHEWS

Like other nuts, cashews contain protein (17g/100g) and fibre (6g/100g). Protein and fibre help control appetite by increasing satiety or the feeling of fullness(4,5). Toss some cashews through your next stir-fry or Indian pilaf.

CHESTNUTS

Chestnuts are not like other nuts as they are low in fat and rich in carbohydrates. These carbs are low GI (glycemic index) and cause a slow rise in blood glucose which helps control appetite(6). Chestnuts have a short season so don't miss out - look out for them in Autumn. They go well with other nuts, or with dried fruit for poultry stuffings.

HAZELNUTS

A research study found eating 30g of hazelnuts a day was well accepted and resulted in an improvement in diet quality with no adverse effect on weight. Diets that contain healthy fats are considered more enjoyable with greater compliance(7,8). Eat a healthy handful of hazelnuts every day to boost your weight loss success.

MACADAMIAS

Macadamias are rich in healthy monounsaturated fats with 80% of the fat being monounsaturated fat. Research has found that following a high monounsaturated fat diet was associated with a reduction in body weight(9). Enjoy a handful of macadamias in your weight loss eating plan.

PECANS

Research has found adding pecans to a cholesterol lowering diet doesn't cause weight gain(10), but you need to eat nuts in place of other foods. Make healthy swaps - add pecans to your breakfast muesli, or add them to your vegetables to make them taste so much better.

PINE NUTS

Pine nut oil has been found to release satiety hormones in the intestine (11), which helps feelings of fullness and reduces the desire for eating. Pine nuts go well with Mediterranean dishes - pestos and pasta sauces.

PISTACHIOS

Like other nuts, adding pistachios to meals containing carbohdyrates helps reduce the rise in blood glucose following the meal. This helps control appetite and type 2 diabetes(12). Add this gorgeous green and purple nut to your salads and try using pistachios instead of pine nuts in pesto.

WALNUTS

The very first study to assess the impact of nuts on health was in 1993, a little over 20 years ago, and they included walnuts in a cholesterol lowering diet(13). This study was responsible for changing the way people thought about nuts. Once considered being full of fat and bad for health, we now know that eating a handful of nuts every day is vital for reducing the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome and obesity among many other conditions. Healthy fats are an essential part of a balanced diet and eating wholefoods is the key to health and wellbeing.

What type of nuts will you eat as a snack or add to your meals today?

References

1) Mori AM et al. Acute and second-meal effects of almond form in impaired glucose tolerant adults: a randomized crossover trial. Nutr Metab (Lond). 2011 Jan 28;8(1):6
  • 2) Jenkins DJ et al. Effect of almonds on insulin secretion and insulin resistance in nondiabetic hyperlipidemic subjects: a randomized controlled crossover trial. Metabolism. 2008 Jul;57(7):882-7.
  • 3) Hosseini B, Saedisomeolia A, Allman-Farinelli M. Association Between Antioxidant Intake/Status and Obesity: a Systematic Review of Observational Studies.Biol Trace Elem Res. 2017 Feb;175(2):287-297.
  • 4) Noakes M. The role of protein in weight management. Asia Pac J Clin Nutr. 2008;17(S1):169-71.
  • 5) Pereira MA, et al. Dietary fiber and body-weight regulation. Observations and mechanisms. Pediatr Clin North Am. 2001;48(4):969-8
  • 6) Roberts SB. Glycemic index and satiety. Nutr Clin Care. 2003 Jan-Apr;6(1):20-6.
  • 7) Tey SL et al. The dose of hazelnuts influences acceptance and diet quality but not inflammatory markers and body composition in overweight and obese individuals. J Nutr. 2013 Aug;143(8):1254-62.
  • 8) McManus K, Antinoro L, Sacks F. A randomized controlled trial of a moderate-fat, low-energy diet compared with a low fat, low-energy diet for weight loss in overweight adults.Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 2001 Oct;25(10):1503-11.
  • 9) Schwingshackl L, Strasser B, Hoffmann G. Effects of monounsaturated fatty acids on cardiovascular risk factors: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Ann Nutr Metab. 2011;59(2-4):176-86.
  • 10) Rajaram S et al. A monounsaturated fatty acid-rich pecan-enriched diet favorably alters the serum lipid profile of healthy men and women. J Nutr. 2001 Sep;131(9):2275-9.
  • 11) Pasman WJ et al. The effect of Korean pine nut oil on in vitro CCK release, on appetite sensations and on gut hormones in post-menopausal overweight women. Lipids Health Dis. 2008 Mar 20;7:10.
  • 12) Kendall CW et al. Acute effects of pistachio consumption on glucose and insulin, satiety hormones and endothelial function in the metabolic syndrome. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2014 Mar;68(3):370-5.
  • 13) Sabaté J et al. Effects of walnuts on serum lipid levels and blood pressure in normal men. N Engl J Med. 1993 Mar 4;328(9):603-7.

    Published Feb 2017
  • Which nuts have the most calories (energy)?

    All nuts contains calories/kilojoules (both are measures of energy) but when it comes to nuts there's no need to count calories(1).

    However, despite nuts being high in energy, there is loads of evidence stating that they do not contribute to weight gain. In fact, evidence spanning the last 24 years has shown that, compared with those who don't eat nuts, nut eaters:

  • Tend to have a lower body mass index (BMI) (2-6)
  • Are less likely to gain weight over time (7-10)
    So incorporating a handful of nuts in a healthy diet will help with weight management.

    References:
    1) Nuts for Life. Nutrient composition of Tree Nuts. 2016.
    2) Fraser GE et al. A possible protective effect of nut consumption on risk of coronary heart disease. Arch Intern Med 1991; 152: 1416-24.
    3) Hu FB et al. Frequent nut consumption and risk of coronary heart disease in women: prospective cohort study. British Medical Journal 1998;317(7169):1341-5.
    4) Ellsworth JL et al. Frequent nut intake and risk of death from coronary heart disease and all causes in postmenopausal women: the Iowa Women’s Health Study. Nutrition Metabolism and Cardiovascular Disease 2001;11(6):372-7.
    5) Sabate J. Nut consumption and body weight. Am J Clin Nutr. 2003;78(3 Suppl):647s-650s.
    6) Albert CM et al. Nut consumption and decreased risk of sudden cardiac death in the Physician’s Health Study. Arch Intern Med 2002;162(12):1382-7.
    7) Bes-Rastrollo M et al. Prospective study of nut consumption, long-term weight change, and obesity risk in women. Am J Clin Nutr 2009;89 1913-1919.
    8) Mozaffarian D et al. Changes in diet and lifestyle and long-term weight gain in women and men. N Engl J Med. 2011;364(25):2392-2404.
    9) Martínez-González MA et al. Nut consumption, weight gain and obesity: Epidemiological evidence. Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis. 2011;21 Suppl 1:S40-5.
    10) Jackson CL et al. Long-term associations of nut consumption with body weight and obesity. Am J Clin Nutr. 2014;100 Suppl 1:408s-411s.

    Last update October 2016
  • What are the lowest calorie nuts?

    Chestnuts contain the least calories or energy. They are quite different to other nuts nutritionally, as they are low in fat and are a good source of low GI carbohydrate and fibre. Making them more like grains that tree nuts. But remember, the calories in nuts doesn't impact their ability to influence weight. In fact, there is loads of evidence stating that nuts do not contribute to weight gain. Evidence spanning the last 24 years has shown that, compared with those who don't eat nuts, nut eaters:

  • Tend to have a lower body mass index (BMI) (2-6)
  • Are less likely to gain weight over time (7-10)

    What's also interesting is we don't absorb all the fat and hence calories when eating whole nuts. About 20% is excreted in stools because the fat is trapped in the fibrous structure of the nuts.

    So whatever nut takes your fancy, you can enjoy them knowing that you can actually maintain a healthy body weight and not cause weight gain.

    References:
    1) Nuts for Life. Nutrient composition of Tree Nuts. 2016.
    2) Fraser GE et al. A possible protective effect of nut consumption on risk of coronary heart disease. Arch Intern Med 1991; 152: 1416-24.
    3) Hu FB et al. Frequent nut consumption and risk of coronary heart disease in women: prospective cohort study. British Medical Journal 1998;317(7169):1341-5.
    4) Ellsworth JL et al. Frequent nut intake and risk of death from coronary heart disease and all causes in postmenopausal women: the Iowa Women’s Health Study. Nutrition Metabolism and Cardiovascular Disease 2001;11(6):372-7.
    5) Sabate J. Nut consumption and body weight. Am J Clin Nutr. 2003;78(3 Suppl):647s-650s.
    6) Albert CM et al. Nut consumption and decreased risk of sudden cardiac death in the Physician’s Health Study. Arch Intern Med 2002;162(12):1382-7.
    7) Bes-Rastrollo M et al. Prospective study of nut consumption, long-term weight change, and obesity risk in women. Am J Clin Nutr 2009;89 1913-1919.
    8) Mozaffarian D et al. Changes in diet and lifestyle and long-term weight gain in women and men. N Engl J Med. 2011;364(25):2392-2404.
    9) Martínez-González MA et al. Nut consumption, weight gain and obesity: Epidemiological evidence. Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis. 2011;21 Suppl 1:S40-5.
    10) Jackson CL et al. Long-term associations of nut consumption with body weight and obesity. Am J Clin Nutr. 2014;100 Suppl 1:408s-411s.

    Last update October 2016
  • Are nuts fatty?

    It depends on your definition of "fatty". If you're asking "are nuts rich in fats" then yes, all nuts (with the exception of chestnuts) are 'fatty'. At least half of the all the nutrients in nuts is actually fat.

    Nuts are a good source of the healthy or good fats - polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, with much lower proportions of the bad - saturated fats and virtually no trans fats. The fat profile of each nuts varies, so including a variety of nuts in your diet is a smart choice and ensures you have a good balance of healthy fats.

    Almonds, cashews, hazelnuts, macadamias, pecans and pistachios are higher in monounsaturated fats; whereas Brazil nuts, pine nuts and walnuts have more polyunsaturated fats (1).

    Walnuts are one of the few plant foods that also contain an essential polyunsaturated fat - a plant omega-3 fat called Alpha Linolenic Acid or ALA, with smaller amounts found in pecans, hazelnuts and macadamias (1). This is particularly important for vegetarians or anyone who doesn’t eat fish or seafood. ALA is not the same as the fish omega 3s DHA and EPA, but it still has important heart health functions (2).

    The other "fatty" question is "are nuts fattening" and the answer to this is no. Nuts are a healthy high-fat food in a fat-phobic world. It’s time we moved on from the low fat weight loss diet mantra of the 1980s-90s to enjoying foods high in healthy fats such as nuts, avocados and fish, and use healthy cooking oils. Nuts actual help with weight management. They prevent weight regain and when eaten as part of a healthy diet can help reduce body weight (3).

    References:
    1) Nuts For Life. Nutrient Composition of Tree Nuts. 2016.
    2) De Lorgeril M et al. Alpha-linolenic acid and coronary heart disease. Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis 2004;14(3):162-9.
    3) Tan SY, Dhillon J, Mattes RD. A review of the effects of nuts on appetite, food intake, metabolism, and body weight. Am J Clin Nutr. 2014 Jul;100 Suppl 1:412S-22S.

    Last update October 2016

    Do pecans help you lose weight?

    Whilst there's not a lot of evidence on pecans per say, and losing weight, there's loads of evidence on nuts in general and weight management.

    In both large population based studies and clinical trials, nut consumption can help with weight management and can prevent weight gain. Studies have shown that nut eaters tend to have a lower body mass index (BMI) and those that include nuts in their diets are less likely to gain weight over time (1-10).

    There are several ways in which nuts help to manage body weight:

    - Nuts satisfy hunger and reduce appetite – the protein, fibre and fat all act to control appetite and food intake (11-17).
    - Nuts are a whole food and not all the energy in nuts is absorbed. Research suggests around 10% of energy passes through your system and is excreted - trapped in the nut’s fibrous structure (15-18).
    - Nuts increase energy expenditure. It's been found that 10% of the energy that nuts contain is used to fuel the process of digesting them (16).
    - Nuts have a Glycemic Index-lowering effect – when mixed with carbohydrate foods in a meal, they slow the digestion and the release of glucose into the blood stream, which satisfies the appetite for longer (19-21).
    - Nuts improve insulin sensitivity, via their healthy mono- and polyunsaturated fats (21). Insulin resistance can lead to weight gain, and nuts have been shown to reduce insulin levels and therefore improve insulin sensitivity.
    - Nuts make an enjoyable addition to the diet. Research shows that people are more likely to stick with their weight loss plan if the plan contains nuts - so they achieve greater success.

    So include a handful of nuts such as pecans in a healthy daily diet to help manage weight.

    References:
    1) O'Neil CE. et al. Tree nut consumption is associated with better nutrient adequacy and diet quality in adults: National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2005-2010. Nutrients. 2015;7(1):595-607. 2) Ellsworth JL et al. Frequent nut intake and risk of death from coronary heart disease and all causes in postmenopausal women: the Iowa Women’s Health Study. Nutrition Metabolism and Cardiovascular Disease 2001;11(6):372-7.
    3) Hu FB et al. Frequent nut consumption and risk of coronary heart disease in women: prospective cohort study. British Medical Journal 1998;317(7169):1341-5.
    4) Fraser GE et al. A possible protective effect of nut consumption on risk of coronary heart disease. Arch Intern Med 1991; 152: 1416-24.
    5) Jaceldo-Siegl K. et al. Tree nuts are inversely associated with metabolic syndrome and obesity: the Adventist health study-2. PLoS One. 2014;9(1):e85133. 6) Bes-Rastrollo M et al. Prospective study of nut consumption, long-term weight change, and obesity risk in women. Am J Clin Nutr 2009;89 1913-1919.
    7) Sabate J. Nut consumption and body weight. Am J Clin Nutr. 2003;78(3 Suppl):647s-650s.
    8) Mozaffarian D et al. Changes in diet and lifestyle and long-term weight gain in women and men. N Engl J Med. 2011;364(25):2392-2404. 9) Casas-Agustench P. et al. Cross-sectional association of nut intake with adiposity in a Mediterranean population. Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis. 2011;21(7):518-525.
    10) Flores-Mateo G. et al. Nut intake and adiposity: meta-analysis of clinical trials. Am J Clin Nutr. 2013;97(6):1346-55.
    11) Noakes M. The role of protein in weight management. Asia Pac J Clin Nutr. 2008; 17(S1):169-71.
    12) Pereira MA et al. Dietary fiber and body-weight regulation. Observations and mechanisms. Pediatr Clin North Am 2001; 48(4):969-80.
    13) Pasman WJ et al. The effect of Korean pine nut oil on in vitro CCK release, on appetite sensations and on gut hormones in post-menopausal overweight women. Lipids Health Dis. 2008:20; 7:10.
    14) Hughes GM et al. The effect of Korean pine nut oil (PinnoThin) on food intake, feeding behaviour and appetite: a double-blind placebo-controlled trial. Lipids Health Dis 2008; 7:6.
    15) Cassady BA et al. Mastication of almonds: effects of lipid bioaccessibility, appetite, and hormone response. Am J Clin Nutr 2009;89(3):794-800.
    16) Mattes R. The energetics of nut consumption. Asia Pac J Clin Nutr 2008; 17(S1):337-9.
    17) Ellis PR et al. Role of cell walls in the bioaccessibility of lipids in almond seeds. Am J Clin Nutr 2004;80:604-13.
    18) Traoret CJ et al. Peanut digestion and energy balance. Int J Obes (Lond) 2008; 32(2):322-8.
    19) Jenkins DJ et al. Almonds decrease postprandial glycemia, insulinemia, and oxidative damage in healthy individuals. J Nutr 2006; 136(12):2987-92.
    20) Sujatha R et al. Nuts, body weight and insulin resistance. Br J Nutr 2006; 96(S2):S79–86.
    21) Casas-Agustench P et al. Nuts, inflammation and insulin resistance. Asia Pac J Clin Nutr 2010;19(1):124-130.

    Last update October 2016

    Do pecans make you gain weight?

    Whilst there's not a lot of evidence on pecans per say, and gaining weight, there's loads of evidence on nuts in general and weight management.

    In both large population based studies and clinical trials, nut consumption can help with weight management and can prevent weight gain. Studies have shown that nut eaters tend to have a lower body mass index (BMI) and those that include nuts in their diets are less likely to gain weight over time (1-10).

    There are several ways in which nuts help to manage body weight:

    - Nuts satisfy hunger and reduce appetite – the protein, fibre and fat all act to control appetite and food intake (11-17).
    - Nuts are a whole food and not all the energy in nuts is absorbed. Research suggests around 10% of energy passes through your system and is excreted - trapped in the nut’s fibrous structure (15-18).
    - Nuts increase energy expenditure. It's been found that 10% of the energy that nuts contain is used to fuel the process of digesting them (16).
    - Nuts have a Glycemic Index-lowering effect – when mixed with carbohydrate foods in a meal, they slow the digestion and the release of glucose into the blood stream, which satisfies the appetite for longer (19-21).
    - Nuts improve insulin sensitivity, via their healthy mono- and polyunsaturated fats (21). Insulin resistance can lead to weight gain, and nuts have been shown to reduce insulin levels and therefore improve insulin sensitivity.
    - Nuts make an enjoyable addition to the diet. Research shows that people are more likely to stick with their weight loss plan if the plan contains nuts - so they achieve greater success.

    So enjoying a handful of nuts such as pecans each day is a great weight management strategy.

    References:
    1) O'Neil CE. et al. Tree nut consumption is associated with better nutrient adequacy and diet quality in adults: National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2005-2010. Nutrients. 2015;7(1):595-607. 2) Ellsworth JL et al. Frequent nut intake and risk of death from coronary heart disease and all causes in postmenopausal women: the Iowa Women’s Health Study. Nutrition Metabolism and Cardiovascular Disease 2001;11(6):372-7.
    3) Hu FB et al. Frequent nut consumption and risk of coronary heart disease in women: prospective cohort study. British Medical Journal 1998;317(7169):1341-5.
    4) Fraser GE et al. A possible protective effect of nut consumption on risk of coronary heart disease. Arch Intern Med 1991; 152: 1416-24.
    5) Jaceldo-Siegl K. et al. Tree nuts are inversely associated with metabolic syndrome and obesity: the Adventist health study-2. PLoS One. 2014;9(1):e85133. 6) Bes-Rastrollo M et al. Prospective study of nut consumption, long-term weight change, and obesity risk in women. Am J Clin Nutr 2009;89 1913-1919.
    7) Sabate J. Nut consumption and body weight. Am J Clin Nutr. 2003;78(3 Suppl):647s-650s.
    8) Mozaffarian D et al. Changes in diet and lifestyle and long-term weight gain in women and men. N Engl J Med. 2011;364(25):2392-2404. 9) Casas-Agustench P. et al. Cross-sectional association of nut intake with adiposity in a Mediterranean population. Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis. 2011;21(7):518-525.
    10) Flores-Mateo G. et al. Nut intake and adiposity: meta-analysis of clinical trials. Am J Clin Nutr. 2013;97(6):1346-55.
    11) Noakes M. The role of protein in weight management. Asia Pac J Clin Nutr. 2008; 17(S1):169-71.
    12) Pereira MA et al. Dietary fiber and body-weight regulation. Observations and mechanisms. Pediatr Clin North Am 2001; 48(4):969-80.
    13) Pasman WJ et al. The effect of Korean pine nut oil on in vitro CCK release, on appetite sensations and on gut hormones in post-menopausal overweight women. Lipids Health Dis. 2008:20; 7:10.
    14) Hughes GM et al. The effect of Korean pine nut oil (PinnoThin) on food intake, feeding behaviour and appetite: a double-blind placebo-controlled trial. Lipids Health Dis 2008; 7:6.
    15) Cassady BA et al. Mastication of almonds: effects of lipid bioaccessibility, appetite, and hormone response. Am J Clin Nutr 2009;89(3):794-800.
    16) Mattes R. The energetics of nut consumption. Asia Pac J Clin Nutr 2008; 17(S1):337-9.
    17) Ellis PR et al. Role of cell walls in the bioaccessibility of lipids in almond seeds. Am J Clin Nutr 2004;80:604-13.
    18) Traoret CJ et al. Peanut digestion and energy balance. Int J Obes (Lond) 2008; 32(2):322-8.
    19) Jenkins DJ et al. Almonds decrease postprandial glycemia, insulinemia, and oxidative damage in healthy individuals. J Nutr 2006; 136(12):2987-92.
    20) Sujatha R et al. Nuts, body weight and insulin resistance. Br J Nutr 2006; 96(S2):S79–86.
    21) Casas-Agustench P et al. Nuts, inflammation and insulin resistance. Asia Pac J Clin Nutr 2010;19(1):124-130.

    Last update October 2016

    Can walnuts make you gain weight?

    Whilst there's not a lot of evidence on walnuts per say, and losing weight, there's loads of evidence on nuts in general and weight management.

    In both large population based studies and clinical trials, nut consumption can help with weight management and can prevent weight gain. Studies have shown that nut eaters tend to have a lower body mass index (BMI) and those that include nuts in their diets are less likely to gain weight over time (1-10).

    There are several ways in which nuts help to manage body weight:

    - Nuts satisfy hunger and reduce appetite – the protein, fibre and fat all act to control appetite and food intake (11-17).
    - Nuts are a whole food and not all the energy in nuts is absorbed. Research suggests around 10% of energy passes through your system and is excreted - trapped in the nut’s fibrous structure (15-18).
    - Nuts increase energy expenditure. It's been found that 10% of the energy that nuts contain is used to fuel the process of digesting them (16).
    - Nuts have a Glycemic Index-lowering effect – when mixed with carbohydrate foods in a meal, they slow the digestion and the release of glucose into the blood stream, which satisfies the appetite for longer (19-21).
    - Nuts improve insulin sensitivity, via their healthy mono- and polyunsaturated fats (21). Insulin resistance can lead to weight gain, and nuts have been shown to reduce insulin levels and therefore improve insulin sensitivity.
    - Nuts make an enjoyable addition to the diet. Research shows that people are more likely to stick with their weight loss plan if the plan contains nuts - so they achieve greater success.

    So incorporating a handful of nuts such as walnuts in the diet is a great strategy for managing weight.

    References:
    1) O'Neil CE. et al. Tree nut consumption is associated with better nutrient adequacy and diet quality in adults: National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2005-2010. Nutrients. 2015;7(1):595-607. 2) Ellsworth JL et al. Frequent nut intake and risk of death from coronary heart disease and all causes in postmenopausal women: the Iowa Women’s Health Study. Nutrition Metabolism and Cardiovascular Disease 2001;11(6):372-7.
    3) Hu FB et al. Frequent nut consumption and risk of coronary heart disease in women: prospective cohort study. British Medical Journal 1998;317(7169):1341-5.
    4) Fraser GE et al. A possible protective effect of nut consumption on risk of coronary heart disease. Arch Intern Med 1991; 152: 1416-24.
    5) Jaceldo-Siegl K. et al. Tree nuts are inversely associated with metabolic syndrome and obesity: the Adventist health study-2. PLoS One. 2014;9(1):e85133. 6) Bes-Rastrollo M et al. Prospective study of nut consumption, long-term weight change, and obesity risk in women. Am J Clin Nutr 2009;89 1913-1919.
    7) Sabate J. Nut consumption and body weight. Am J Clin Nutr. 2003;78(3 Suppl):647s-650s.
    8) Mozaffarian D et al. Changes in diet and lifestyle and long-term weight gain in women and men. N Engl J Med. 2011;364(25):2392-2404. 9) Casas-Agustench P. et al. Cross-sectional association of nut intake with adiposity in a Mediterranean population. Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis. 2011;21(7):518-525.
    10) Flores-Mateo G. et al. Nut intake and adiposity: meta-analysis of clinical trials. Am J Clin Nutr. 2013;97(6):1346-55.
    11) Noakes M. The role of protein in weight management. Asia Pac J Clin Nutr. 2008; 17(S1):169-71.
    12) Pereira MA et al. Dietary fiber and body-weight regulation. Observations and mechanisms. Pediatr Clin North Am 2001; 48(4):969-80.
    13) Pasman WJ et al. The effect of Korean pine nut oil on in vitro CCK release, on appetite sensations and on gut hormones in post-menopausal overweight women. Lipids Health Dis. 2008:20; 7:10.
    14) Hughes GM et al. The effect of Korean pine nut oil (PinnoThin) on food intake, feeding behaviour and appetite: a double-blind placebo-controlled trial. Lipids Health Dis 2008; 7:6.
    15) Cassady BA et al. Mastication of almonds: effects of lipid bioaccessibility, appetite, and hormone response. Am J Clin Nutr 2009;89(3):794-800.
    16) Mattes R. The energetics of nut consumption. Asia Pac J Clin Nutr 2008; 17(S1):337-9.
    17) Ellis PR et al. Role of cell walls in the bioaccessibility of lipids in almond seeds. Am J Clin Nutr 2004;80:604-13.
    18) Traoret CJ et al. Peanut digestion and energy balance. Int J Obes (Lond) 2008; 32(2):322-8.
    19) Jenkins DJ et al. Almonds decrease postprandial glycemia, insulinemia, and oxidative damage in healthy individuals. J Nutr 2006; 136(12):2987-92.
    20) Sujatha R et al. Nuts, body weight and insulin resistance. Br J Nutr 2006; 96(S2):S79–86.
    21) Casas-Agustench P et al. Nuts, inflammation and insulin resistance. Asia Pac J Clin Nutr 2010;19(1):124-130.

    Last update October 2016

    Are cashew nuts good for weight loss?

    Whilst there's not a lot of evidence on cashew per say and weight loss, there's loads of evidence on nuts in general and weight management.

    In both large population based studies and clinical trials, nut consumption can help with weight management and can prevent weight gain. Studies have shown that nut eaters tend to have a lower body mass index (BMI) and those that include nuts in their diets are less likely to gain weight over time (1-10).

    There are several ways in which nuts help to manage body weight:

    - Nuts satisfy hunger and reduce appetite – the protein, fibre and fat all act to control appetite and food intake (11-17).
    - Nuts are a whole food and not all the energy in nuts is absorbed. Research suggests around 10% of energy passes through your system and is excreted - trapped in the nut’s fibrous structure (15-18).
    - Nuts increase energy expenditure. It's been found that 10% of the energy that nuts contain is used to fuel the process of digesting them (16).
    - Nuts have a Glycemic Index-lowering effect – when mixed with carbohydrate foods in a meal, they slow the digestion and the release of glucose into the blood stream, which satisfies the appetite for longer (19-21).
    - Nuts improve insulin sensitivity, via their healthy mono- and polyunsaturated fats (21). Insulin resistance can lead to weight gain, and nuts have been shown to reduce insulin levels and therefore improve insulin sensitivity.
    - Nuts make an enjoyable addition to the diet. Research shows that people are more likely to stick with their weight loss plan if the plan contains nuts - so they achieve greater success.

    References:
    1) O'Neil CE. et al. Tree nut consumption is associated with better nutrient adequacy and diet quality in adults: National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2005-2010. Nutrients. 2015;7(1):595-607. 2) Ellsworth JL et al. Frequent nut intake and risk of death from coronary heart disease and all causes in postmenopausal women: the Iowa Women’s Health Study. Nutrition Metabolism and Cardiovascular Disease 2001;11(6):372-7.
    3) Hu FB et al. Frequent nut consumption and risk of coronary heart disease in women: prospective cohort study. British Medical Journal 1998;317(7169):1341-5.
    4) Fraser GE et al. A possible protective effect of nut consumption on risk of coronary heart disease. Arch Intern Med 1991; 152: 1416-24.
    5) Jaceldo-Siegl K. et al. Tree nuts are inversely associated with metabolic syndrome and obesity: the Adventist health study-2. PLoS One. 2014;9(1):e85133. 6) Bes-Rastrollo M et al. Prospective study of nut consumption, long-term weight change, and obesity risk in women. Am J Clin Nutr 2009;89 1913-1919.
    7) Sabate J. Nut consumption and body weight. Am J Clin Nutr. 2003;78(3 Suppl):647s-650s.
    8) Mozaffarian D et al. Changes in diet and lifestyle and long-term weight gain in women and men. N Engl J Med. 2011;364(25):2392-2404. 9) Casas-Agustench P. et al. Cross-sectional association of nut intake with adiposity in a Mediterranean population. Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis. 2011;21(7):518-525.
    10) Flores-Mateo G. et al. Nut intake and adiposity: meta-analysis of clinical trials. Am J Clin Nutr. 2013;97(6):1346-55.
    11) Noakes M. The role of protein in weight management. Asia Pac J Clin Nutr. 2008; 17(S1):169-71.
    12) Pereira MA et al. Dietary fiber and body-weight regulation. Observations and mechanisms. Pediatr Clin North Am 2001; 48(4):969-80.
    13) Pasman WJ et al. The effect of Korean pine nut oil on in vitro CCK release, on appetite sensations and on gut hormones in post-menopausal overweight women. Lipids Health Dis. 2008:20; 7:10.
    14) Hughes GM et al. The effect of Korean pine nut oil (PinnoThin) on food intake, feeding behaviour and appetite: a double-blind placebo-controlled trial. Lipids Health Dis 2008; 7:6.
    15) Cassady BA et al. Mastication of almonds: effects of lipid bioaccessibility, appetite, and hormone response. Am J Clin Nutr 2009;89(3):794-800.
    16) Mattes R. The energetics of nut consumption. Asia Pac J Clin Nutr 2008; 17(S1):337-9.
    17) Ellis PR et al. Role of cell walls in the bioaccessibility of lipids in almond seeds. Am J Clin Nutr 2004;80:604-13.
    18) Traoret CJ et al. Peanut digestion and energy balance. Int J Obes (Lond) 2008; 32(2):322-8.
    19) Jenkins DJ et al. Almonds decrease postprandial glycemia, insulinemia, and oxidative damage in healthy individuals. J Nutr 2006; 136(12):2987-92.
    20) Sujatha R et al. Nuts, body weight and insulin resistance. Br J Nutr 2006; 96(S2):S79–86.
    21) Casas-Agustench P et al. Nuts, inflammation and insulin resistance. Asia Pac J Clin Nutr 2010;19(1):124-130.

    Last update October 2016

    Are cashews really fattening?

    Cashews, like other nuts, are high in fat (primarily the healthy unsaturated fats). But does this make cashews fattening?

    The answer is no. In fact, there's loads of evidence showing that nut consumption (including cashews) can help with weight management and can prevent weight gain. Both large population studies and clinical trials have shown that those who eat nuts tend to have a lower body mass index (BMI) and are less likely to gain weight over time (1-7). Nuts, such as cashews, can also add enjoyment to a weight management diet because of their taste and texture. This means people stick to their weight management diets for longer with greater success.

    Cashews are also packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and phytochemicals beneficial to health.

    So, there's no reason to fear fat, or to fear gaining weight from eating cashews or any other nut for that matter.

    References:
    1) Ellsworth JL et al. Frequent nut intake and risk of death from coronary heart disease and all causes in postmenopausal women: the Iowa Women’s Health Study. Nutrition Metabolism and Cardiovascular Disease 2001;11(6):372-7.
    2) Hu FB et al. Frequent nut consumption and risk of coronary heart disease in women: prospective cohort study. British Medical Journal 1998;317(7169):1341-5.
    3) Fraser GE et al. A possible protective effect of nut consumption on risk of coronary heart disease. Arch Intern Med 1991; 152: 1416-24.
    4) Sabate J. Nut consumption and body weight. Am J Clin Nutr. 2003;78(3 Suppl):647s-650s.
    5) Jaceldo-Siegl K. et al. Tree nuts are inversely associated with metabolic syndrome and obesity: the Adventist health study-2. PLoS One. 2014;9(1):e85133.
    6) Jackson CL et al. Long-term associations of nut consumption with body weight and obesity. Am J Clin Nutr. 2014;100 Suppl 1:408s-411s.
    7) Tan SY. et al. A review of the effects of nuts on appetite, food intake, metabolism and body weight. Am J Clin Nutr. 2014;100 Suppl 1:412s-422s.

    Last update Jan 2017

    How can nuts help control weight?

    There are many ways nuts can help with weight management

    • Nuts satisfy hunger and reduce appetite – the protein, fibre and fat all act to control appetite and food intake (1-7).
    • Nuts are a whole food and not all the energy in nuts is absorbed. Research suggests around 10% of energy passes through your system and is excreted - trapped in the nut’s fibrous structure (5-8).
    • Nuts increase energy expenditure. It's been found that 10% of the energy that nuts contain is used to fuel the process of digesting them (6).
    • Nuts have a Glycemic Index-lowering effect – when mixed with carbohydrate foods in a meal, they slow the digestion and the release of glucose into the blood stream, which satisfies the appetite for longer (9-11).
    • Nuts improve insulin sensitivity, via their healthy mono- and polyunsaturated fats (11). Insulin resistance can lead to weight gain, and nuts have been shown to reduce insulin levels and therefore improve insulin sensitivity.
    • Nuts make an enjoyable addition to the diet. Research shows that people are more likely to stick with their weight loss plan if the plan contains nuts - so they achieve greater success.
    References:
    1) Noakes M. The role of protein in weight management. Asia Pac J Clin Nutr. 2008; 17(S1):169-71.
    2) Pereira MA et al. Dietary fiber and body-weight regulation. Observations and mechanisms. Pediatr Clin North Am 2001; 48(4):969-80.
    3) Pasman WJ et al. The effect of Korean pine nut oil on in vitro CCK release, on appetite sensations and on gut hormones in post-menopausal overweight women. Lipids Health Dis. 2008:20; 7:10.
    4) Hughes GM et al. The effect of Korean pine nut oil (PinnoThin) on food intake, feeding behaviour and appetite: a double-blind placebo-controlled trial. Lipids Health Dis 2008; 7:6.
    5) Cassady BA et al. Mastication of almonds: effects of lipid bioaccessibility, appetite, and hormone response. Am J Clin Nutr 2009;89(3):794-800.
    6) Mattes R. The energetics of nut consumption. Asia Pac J Clin Nutr 2008; 17(S1):337-9.
    7) Ellis PR et al. Role of cell walls in the bioaccessibility of lipids in almond seeds. Am J Clin Nutr 2004;80:604-13.
    8) Traoret CJ et al. Peanut digestion and energy balance. Int J Obes (Lond) 2008; 32(2):322-8.
    9) Jenkins DJ et al. Almonds decrease postprandial glycemia, insulinemia, and oxidative damage in healthy individuals. J Nutr 2006; 136(12):2987-92.
    10) Sujatha R et al. Nuts, body weight and insulin resistance. Br J Nutr 2006; 96(S2):S79–86.
    11) Casas-Agustench P et al. Nuts, inflammation and insulin resistance. Asia Pac J Clin Nutr 2010;19(1):124-130.

    Last Update September 2016

    Aren’t nuts high in fat? How can I eat them if I’m trying to lose weight?

    Yes, nuts are high in fat, but they are high in the good unsaturated fats and contain very little of the bad saturated fats. Despite what many people believe, eating nuts regularly can help you to maintain a healthy body weight (1-5). Nuts are a tasty food that people enjoy eating, helping you to stick to a healthy eating plan for longer (6,7). Nuts contain nutrients which can help control appetite such as healthy fats, fibre and protein. Yes, healthy fats can reduce our desire to eat by switching on some of the satiety hormones in the intestines (8-10). And finally, studies have found nut eaters excrete around 10% more fat in their stools, meaning that they absorb less fat and energy (10-12).

    So it appears you can enjoy a regular handful of nuts AND help to manage your weight.

    References:
    1) Albert CM et al. Nut consumption and decreased risk of sudden cardiac death in the Physician’s Health Study. Arch Intern Med 2002;162(12):1382-7.
    2) Ellsworth JL et al. Frequent nut intake and risk of death from coronary heart disease and all causes in postmenopausal women: the Iowa Women’s Health Study. Nutrition Metabolism and Cardiovascular Disease 2001;11(6):372-7.
    3) Hu FB et al. Frequent nut consumption and risk of coronary heart disease in women: prospective cohort study. British Medical Journal 1998;317(7169):1341-5.
    4) Fraser GE et al. A possible protective effect of nut consumption on risk of coronary heart disease. Arch Intern Med 1991; 152: 1416-24.
    5) Blomhoff R. et al. Health benefits of nuts: potential role of antioxidants. Brit J Nutr 2007;96(SupplS2):S52-S60.
    6) Bes-Rastrollo M et al. Prospective study of nut consumption, long-term weight change, and obesity risk in women. Am J Clin Nutr 2009;89 1913-1919.
    7) Martínez-González MA et al. Nut consumption, weight gain and obesity: Epidemiological evidence. Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis. 2011;21 Suppl 1:S40-5.
    8) Pasman WJ et al. The effect of Korean pine nut oil on in vitro CCK release, on appetite sensations and on gut hormones in post-menopausal overweight women. Lipids Health Dis. 2008:20; 7:10.
    9) Hughes GM et al. The effect of Korean pine nut oil (PinnoThin) on food intake, feeding behaviour and appetite: a double-blind placebo-controlled trial. Lipids Health Dis 2008; 7:6.
    10) Cassady BA et al. Mastication of almonds: effects of lipid bioaccessibility, appetite, and hormone response. Am J Clin Nutr 2009;89(3):794-800.
    11) Mattes R. The energetics of nut consumption. Asia Pac J Clin Nutr 2008; 17(S1):337-9.
    12) Ellis PR et al. Role of cell walls in the bioaccessibility of lipids in almond seeds. Am J Clin Nutr 2004;80:604-13.

    Last Update September 2016

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