Go nuts (in a good way) for weight management!

motivation exercise

A pound and a quarter a year doesn't sound like a lot. But if you gain that amount every year, which many adults do, your weight can slowly creep up to a level that puts your health at risk. Twelve pounds in ten years, 24 pounds in 20 years…you get the idea. New research points to a delicious antidote to this common phenomenon: nuts. According to a recent analysis of data from more than 100,000 adults, eating a serving of tree nuts or peanuts a day may help to prevent weight gain and obesity, especially when it replaces foods like chips or other snacks, French fries, red or processed meat, or dessert. (One ounce of nuts or two tablespoons of nut butter constitutes a serving.) Nuts can also help to ease hunger while keeping blood sugar and insulin levels steady, according to another study in which participants ate either Brazil nuts or pretzels. While both increased fullness, pretzels made blood sugar and insulin spike (which ages you, adds fat to your middle, and causes inflammation), while the nuts did not. This makes sense, as pretzels are mostly carbohydrate while nuts are mostly fat and protein. If you have any leftover unease about eating nuts, let this research banish it. Keep in mind, though, that almonds, walnuts, Brazil nuts, pecans, hazelnuts, and peanuts are high in calories, so you don't want to, ahem, go crazy for nuts with your portions. But tree nuts and peanuts (really a legume and not a tree nut, by the way) are a great source of the nutritious fat that our bodies need, and they're satisfying in small amounts. Make them a go-to snack or sprinkle them on salads, or even crust fish with them, while easing up on the foods that don't do your health any favors. Nuts may keep both your hunger and your weight in check!


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