Are Nuts Good for Weight Loss?

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Usually, you try to stop eating (or at least cut back on) calorie-dense foods when you’re trying to lose weight. Recent studies, however, show that nuts (peanuts and treanuts) are surprisingly good for weight loss. A 2007 research review out of Purdue University shows that there is no link between eating nuts and gaining weight. Even better, people who regularly eat nuts tend to have a lower BMI than those who don’t.

Favorable Research Results

Several recent studies seem to indicate that moderate amounts of nuts should be included in your weight-loss program. Adding nuts to a healthy eating program can help increase weight loss and improve the quality of your diet.

A recent study showed an association between nut consumption and lowered risk of heart disease.

A study of 65 middle-aged adults showed that nuts help to reduce weight, fat and inches around the stomach when eaten as part of a program that includes a reduced-calorie diet and moderate exercise.

Another study showed that a moderate-fat diet that included nuts was easier to maintain and resulted in more weight loss.

How Do Nuts Aid Weight Loss?

According to the studies, nuts are a satisfying food, possibly because of their low glycemic index. People who include nuts in their diets tend to eat less overall, which helps to increase dieters’ calorie deficits.

Our bodies don’t extract calories from nuts very efficiently. Compared to people who don’t eat nuts, those who eat moderate amounts of nuts pass more fat in their stools. The increased presence of fecal fat indicates that between 10-20% of the calories found in nuts may never be absorbed by the intestines.

Regularly eating moderate amounts of nuts increases the number of calories you burn while doing nothing, known as your resting energy expenditure. One study showed that peanuts boosted dieters’ resting energy expenditures by about 11%. An increase in your resting energy expenditure means that even while you’re asleep, you can burn calories at a higher rate.

If you follow a program that allows the moderate consumption of healthy fats like those found in nuts, you’re likely to stay with the program for longer. If you maintain your healthy eating habits, you can lose more weight than dieters who follow (and often drop out of) fat-restricted programs.

Including a moderate amount of nuts in your diet can boost your metabolism and help you manage your appetite. If you’re often feeling unsatisfied, you’re less likely to keep up your weight-loss program. As studies have shown, long-term maintenance of healthy eating habits is an important part of losing extra inches and keeping them off. If a moderate-fat diet is right for you, nuts—particularly almonds and peanuts—can help speed you along on your journey toward a healthier body.

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