Though many avoid nuts because of their high fat content, recent studies have found that they may in fact have a slimming effect.
The research involved 13,292 participants from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys from 1999-2004. It found that people who consumed more than one quarter of an ounce of tree nuts every day were found to be significantly thinner, and with lower risks of heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
“One of the more interesting findings was the fact that tree nut consumers had lower body weight, as well as lower body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference compared to non-consumers,” revealed lead researcher Carol O’Neil. “The mean weight, BMI, and waist circumference were 4.19 pounds, 0.9kg/m2 and 0.83 inches lower in the consumers than non-consumers, respectively.”
In addition, nut consumption is associated with high levels of the ‘good’ cholesterol, health blood pressure, and healthy blood sugar levels. Now, experts recommend a daily intake of 1.5 ounces of tree nuts per day. These nuts include almonds, pistachios, cashews, walnuts, pecans, pine nuts, Brazil nuts, macadamias and hazelnuts.
O’Neil said: “Tree nuts should be an integral part of a healthy diet and encouraged by health professionals- especially registered dieticians.”
O’Neil is not the only expert to appreciate the results. Maureen Ternus of the International Tree Nut Council Nutrition Research & Education Foundation said of the research: “In light of these new data and the fact that the FDA has issues a qualified health claim for nuts and heart disease with a recommended intake of 1.5 ounces of nuts per day, we need to educate people about the importance of including tree nuts in the diet.”