Nuts for Weight Loss?

By Robyn Priebe
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Photo from: http://bakerbynature.com/sweet-spicy-mixed-nuts/

Increased Nut Consumption, Decreased Waist Circumference

According to a recent study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, you might benefit from eating nuts more often.  This study on nuts examined the association between frequent consumption of nuts by reviewing dietary habits of close to 119,000 men and women. The most exciting finding was that as nut consumption increased, rates of mortality for any reason decreased.

Additionally, beyond the association with lower mortality rates, some evidence pointed toward a link between nut intake and lower body weight.  Here is a quote from the study:

“There may be a concern that frequent nut consumption can result in weight gain. However, in these two cohorts, increased nut intake was associated with less weight gain. Similarly, in other prospective cohort studies and clinical trials, increased nut consumption was associated with reduced waist circumference, less weight gain, and a decreased risk of obesity.”

How Can I Benefit From This?

Well, first and foremost it’s a win all around to hear, “hey, eat this really delicious food more often and BTW, it’s good for you!”  However,  as always, simply adding a food without swapping it out for something else may not help with weight management. So, first you need to come up with your game plan for adding more nuts to your life. My suggestion is to swap out nuts for animal-based foods like cheese, full fat milk or yogurt, or cream sauces.  Here are a few ideas to get you started.

Snack Examples:

  • fruit & cheese toasted almonds
  • crackers & cheesenut butter (see our recipe for homemade peanut butter)
  • smoothies made with fruit, low/no fat milk or yogurt with added nut butter for a fat source
  • make our Green Mountain Truffle with any nut butter you like
  • make homemade “energy bars” with dry cereal, dried fruit, seeds and a combination of nut butter and a touch of honey to hold it all together

Breakfast Examples:

  • Bagel with cream cheese peanut butter
  • Stir nut butter into cooked hot cereal, top with sliced fruit and diced/sliced nuts for crunch
  • Fruit salad topped with toasted nuts and shredded coconut

Lunch & Dinner Examples:

  • Encrust fish or chicken with ground nuts mixed with garlic and herbs before baking
  • Experiment with making dairy-free creamy sauces with blended cashews as the base
  • Add toasted nuts to cooked grains or vegetables

Dessert Examples:

  • Top fresh pineapple, strawberries or sliced banana with almond or cashew creams
  • Don’t forget about good old peanut butter cookies, pecan pie, or almond thumbprint cookies

 What are the creative ways you incorporate nuts into your meals or snacks?

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