Cashew nut, also popularly known as kaju is a dry fruit that is widely consumed in various ways- be it snacks, sweet dishes, curries or just as it is. Cashews are known for their health properties, thanks to the presence of monounsaturated oleic acid and omega-3 alpha linolenic acid (ALA) and other healthy vitamins and minerals. Despite a high nutritional value, cashews have gained a reputation of inducing weight gain due to the excessive amount of calories they contain. But is it true that cashew nuts cause weight gain? Do they add to the calories in the body? Let's find out if all this is true.
According to Consultant Nutritionist Dr. Rupali Datta, "Cashew nuts do not cause weight gain unless they are eaten in excess. They are high in calories, which is why cashews have a certain reputation, but if mixed with a handful of other nuts like almond, walnut, raisin, et al, they wouldn't affect much, considering you are eating them in a small quantity. I would also suggest eating roasted plain cashews rather than salted and fried ones."
Cashew nuts do not cause weight gain unless they are eaten in excess
Most nuts with the presence of fats are assumed as fattening. However, cashew nuts contain healthy fats that help lower cholesterol levels and keep your heart healthy. In fact, cashews have fibre content that keeps you satiated for a longer period and further prevents hunger pangs and cravings. According to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2014, when consumed as snacks, cashew nuts suppress appetite so that you eat less throughout the day.
Cashews tend to have a host of benefits to offer-
- They are a protein rich source that helps maintain energy levels through the day.
- Contain vitamin C, vitamin B1 or thiamine and vitamin B6.
- They also possess health promoting minerals like copper, iron, magnesium, zinc and potassium.
- Cashews are a rich source of tryptophan, one of the most essential amino acids that produce serotonin, which is responsible for enhancing your mood.
- Cashews are the highest carriers of antioxidants amongst the plant-food sources. These antioxidants help in maintaining proper heart health.
Undoubtedly, nuts are generally loaded with calories that tend to contribute to weight gain. As per Dr. Datta, it is okay to eat one ounce of mixed nuts that is about a handful of them in order to extract all the goodness from them.