Nuts are packed with heart healthy fats, vitamins and minerals. They make for a healthy, filling snack that can curb cravings, lower cholesterol and more. A new study, published in the Journal Nutrition, suggests that including tree nuts in your daily diet could be an easy and inexpensive way to stay slim and fit. Tree nuts include almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, hazelnuts, macadamias, pecans, pine nuts, pistachios and walnuts.
Although tree nuts contain fat and calories, previous studies have shown that diets enriched with nuts do not increase weight. "Filled with plant protein, dietary fibre, and healthy mono-and polyunsaturated fatty acids, tree nuts are a satiating food that may actually help suppress appetite," said lead study author Carol O'Neil, professor at Louisiana State University Agricultural Centre in the US.
To reach this conclusion, researchers studied more than 14,000 men and women. It was found that those who consume tree nuts were 25 percent less likely to be obese and 21 percent less likely to have an elevated waist circumference than those who did not consume tree nuts. Overall, nut consumption was associated with lower body mass index, systolic blood pressure, insulin resistance and higher levels of high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (good cholesterol).
"Just 1.5 ounces of nuts per day (about 1/3 cup) can give you many of the important vitamins, minerals and energy you need throughout the day," Maureen Ternus, executive director of, International Tree Nut Council Nutrition Research & Education Foundation (INC NREF) said. Nuts are quite underrated as a nutritious snack but the trend seems to be catching up.