As we get older our bodies change. We tend to get thicker round the middle, fuller in the face and it is generally much harder to lose weight.
But recent research compiled by Harvard University has found that changing your diet and replacing unhealthy foods with nuts could really slow down weight gain.
The university did a study that monitored both the eating habits and weight gain of more than 300,000 people over a time span of over twenty years and found that those who ate 14g of nuts daily gained less weight and were less likely to become obese.
So according to the findings instead of reaching for the crisps, try exchanging them for a small handful of nuts.
This could be the difference between you staying slim and gaining a significant amount of weight in the future. Registered dietician, Juliette Kellow BSc RD, explains the logic behind the findings of the research.
She said: “One of the reasons nuts may help people better manage their weight is thanks to them helping us stay fully for longer. Most nuts are high in fibre, with almonds being at the top of the list. In a 28g serving they contain 3.5g of fibre which is more than a tenth of our daily needs”.
The dietician continued: “Plus nuts usually provide protein which, according to the British Nutrition Foundation, may aid satiety – that feeling of fulness we get after eating”. There is also a suggestion that crunchiness of the nuts is another reason why we tend to feel after eating them.
Juliette explains: “Foods with a hard, crunchy texture like nuts need more chewing and so they stay in our mouths for longer than soft food. This stimulates senses that trigger signals involved in satiety. The action of chewing itself is also thought to increase the release of substances that are associated with satiety”.
It’s a known fact that nuts are good fats, which also makes them very calorie heavy. But the bad outweighs the good, so you shouldn’t be put off eating them if you are worried about weight gain.
Another study that focused on almonds found that a 28g serving of whole natural almonds, actually provided the body with 25% fewer calories than what was shown on the packet. This is because as Juliette notes, “our body doesn’t absorb all the fat from whole almonds”.
Another plus side to swapping your usual snacks for nuts is that eating nuts ensures you’re getting the vitamins and minerals you need for good health.
“Nuts contain all the vitamins and minerals you need for good health, Calcium, Iron, magnesium phosphorus, potassium, zinc, copper, manganese, vitamins B1 B2 and B3, Folate, and Vitamin E So this a big plus when comes to choosing a snack.
“Foods such as crips or biscuits come with a lot more calories and usually fat, sugar, and/or salt – but not thatch protein or fibre, or many vitamins or minerals.”