Weight Loss: Eating Walnuts May Help You Shed Kilos

A diet rich in walnuts may not lead to weight gain or increase the risk of obesity, a study conducted in healthy elders claims.

Weight Loss: Eating Walnuts May Help You Shed Kilos

According to the study published in the journal Nutrients found that people who regularly consume about 300 calories of walnuts were able to manage their body weight and composition in a better way. The findings by researchers at Loma Linda University (LLU) in the US also talked about how nuts can affect the independently living, predominantly healthy, elderly people. Edward Bitok, an assistant professor at Loma Linda University, said, "There is a widespread fallacy that the fats in nut cause weight gain, and therefore could lead to issues such as obesity, or other weight-related health issues such as heart disease or diabetes. The research, however, shows that nuts are a healthful snack." 

For study, healthy elders (between 60 to 75 years of age) were randomly assigned to walnut or control diets. Subjects in the walnut group received packaged walnuts, about 2856 grams per day, to incorporate into their habitual diet, while those in the control group abstained from walnuts. After two years, no significant differences were noticed between the control and walnut groups regarding body weight or body fat, researchers said. "Because of walnut's high energy content, many people have believed the misconception that nuts cause unwanted weight gain, and avoid them altogether. This study helps us understand more about good fats versus bad fats and disproves the idea that the fats in nuts are unhealthy and cause weight gain," he said Bitok. 

Walnut, the single-seeded stone fruit, rich in  omega-3 fats, protein, antioxidants, plant sterols, magnesium, copper, vitamins A, D, etc can also help you in your weight loss trail by making you  feel fuller for longer, and suppressing hunger. As per another study published in the same journal, eating walnuts regularly can influence favourable changes in appetite hormones associated with reduction in hunger. The results of the study suggested that participants, who consumed a diet rich in polyunsaturated fats (PUFAs) had a significant decrease in fasting ghrelin, a hormone that signals the body to feel hungry and a significant increase in peptide YY (PYY), a hormone that increases fullness or satiety. 

Walnuts are a rich source of PUFAs, with 13 out of 18 grams of total fat per one ounce serving. As a result, walnuts are the only nut to contain a significant amount of plant-based omega-3 alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) (2.5 grams per one ounce). So, munch on walnuts daily and feel fuller through the day.

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