The myth that says nuts are fattening can be traced back to the 1980s when all fats were considered bad. But let’s bust that myth right now. Nuts Are NOT Fattening.
Like olive oil and avocado, nuts contain “good fat” which may actually help with weight loss. In one study by the Harvard School of Public Health, researchers found a significant decrease in weight was associated with an increased consumption of nuts¹.
In November 2012 Paula Goodyer wrote in the Sydney Morning Herald that while they’re loaded with fat, studies show that eating nuts may help with weight loss because their fibre and protein content can quell hunger pangs.
More recently the International Nut and Dried Fruit Council organised a symposium at the International Congress of Nutrition held earlier this month in Granada, Spain, where leading researchers shared the latest findings on the health benefits of eating walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds and pistachios.
Dr Sabaté, Professor of Public Health at Loma Linda University, California, and a pioneer in the study of the health benefits of nuts, told the symposium: “Epidemiological data indicate that the inclusion of nuts in the diet represents a minimum risk for weight gain and this is supported by clinical studies”.
Similarly, Linda Tapsell, Professor at Wollongong University in Australia, announced that nut consumption is not associated with a higher risk of weight gain, and recommends nuts as part of the diet to prevent obesity and other chronic diseases.
In addition to weight loss, nuts have been found to have significant health benefits.
Dr Mònica Bulló, main researcher at the EPIRDEM project, concluded that a regular intake of pistachios has a direct effect in the reduction of the incidence of type 2 diabetes.
The PREDIMED study found that a daily handful of nuts (15g of walnuts, 7.5g of hazelnuts, and 7.5g of almonds) reduces the incidence of cardiovascular disease (myocardial infarction, stroke and cardiovascular death) by 28%.
The key results of a epidemiological study on nuts and their effect on chronic diseases were presented at the symposium by Professor Frank Hu, from Harvard University, showing how increasing nut consumption to 5 times per week is associated with a 30% lower risk of cardiovascular disease.
Recent scientific studies have shown the benefits of nuts are not only associated with cardiovascular health and diabetes, but also with renal function, cognitive function, atherosclerosis, metabolic syndrome and inflammatory biomarkers.
1. New England Journal of Medicine, June 2011.