Stop the weight gain with a handful of nuts a day

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Shutterstock.com/ Eakrat

Who doesn’t want to find a way to lose weight and prevent that dreaded middle-age spread as we get older? Most men and women gradually gain weight as they age, a fact of life that can be hard to swallow (unlike our snacks). Our metabolism slows down as we age, making it that much harder to lose weight when we want to. However, a recent study from Harvard University found that by replacing the unhealthy foods that we eat with nuts, we could easily slow down how many pounds we gain as we age.

The research project closely watched the eating habits of over 300,000 men and women, along with their subsequent weight gain or loss, of over two decades. The study concluded that the subjects that ate a half of a portion of nuts a day, just 14g, ended up weighing less than those who didn’t. They were also less likely than their counterparts to become obese. This means that exchanging a snack a day with a handful of nuts can make a big difference to your weight in your later years.

Juliette Kellow is a registered dietitian who helped explain why nuts are so good for us. She told the popular magazine Cosmopolitan that eating just a handful of nuts will help us stay full longer, leading to less of an appetite. Nuts are also high in fiber and protein. Not only are fiber and protein a necessary dietary requirement, but they also help us feel fuller after we eat. A 28g serving of nuts contains 3.5g of fiber, which is more than one-tenth of our daily requirement.

Nuts also help us feel fuller for a longer period due to their crunchiness, Juliette explained. Foods that have a hard, crunchy texture take longer to chew, meaning they stay in our mouths longer. This then triggers the senses in our brains that involve feeling satiated after a meal. Even the action of chewing something crunchy allows us to feel fuller.

It’s easy to add servings of nuts to your diet every day. Follow these tips to lose weight and feel healthier than ever:

Always keep a small container or package of plain, unflavored almonds around for a snack. When you are hungry for something small, eat about 23 almonds instead of a candy bar. Other nuts can be substituted, as long as they are low in fat and salt.

Pour a bowl of wholegrain cereal or oatmeal and add a small handful of chopped-up nuts to the top of your breakfast.

Add nuts to foods that you bake, such as cakes, cookies, muffins, bread, or biscuits.

Add handfuls of nuts to healthy salads for a crunchy addition.

Stir nuts into dishes just before you serve them.

Use nuts instead of jelly, butter, syrup, or jam. Look for nut butters that have no added sugar to spread on toast, English muffins, or bagels.

Add spoonfuls of your favorite nuts into smoothies to add fiber and protein.