The good-for-you food that won’t make you gain weight

For years there’s been a debate about nuts.

On one side, experts have claimed that nuts are good for you and you should incorporate them into your daily diet.

While the other side has said that nuts are high in fat, healthy or not, and will lead to weight gain that might negate the good benefits.

So, who’s right? Who do you believe?

Do you just keep eating them and hope for good results or should you avoid them altogether?

Well, the debate has finally been settled unequivocally.

A  two-year study by researchers at Loma Linda University Health has found that walnuts can be incorporated into your daily diet without having a negative impact on weight gain or weight management.

Here are the details…

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Good fats and a healthy snack

The research, published in the journal Nutrients, was the first large study to test if walnuts play a part in healthy aging and set out to discover how nuts can affect predominantly healthy, older people.

Earlier studies looking at walnut consumption and body weight had only focused on younger individuals and for shorter periods of time.

As the study’s lead author, Edward Bitok, DrPH, MS, RDN, assistant professor at Loma Linda University (LLU) School of Allied Health Professions, put it, “Research on long-term intake of walnuts and their effect on body weight in older adults has been lacking, and we wanted to close that gap.”

And boy, did they…

Study participants were between the ages of 63 and 79 and described as healthy, free-living seniors. The researchers assessed whether or not those in the study group eating walnuts were at greater risk of weight gain compared to those who didn’t eat walnuts.

And, they found that without a doubt, walnuts are not only a healthy snack providing your body with good fats — but that they do not cause weight gain… even when the average walnut-eater was consuming nearly 300 calories of nuts daily.

In fact, Joan Sabate, MD, DrPH, executive director of the Center for Nutrition, Healthy Lifestyle & Disease Prevention Center at the School of Public Health, and the principal investigator for the WAHA study went so far as to say, “Our hope was that seniors would be able to include nuts in their diet without concern for weight gain. Indeed, this was demonstrated in the study.”

The many health benefits of walnuts

With all of the benefits walnuts deliver when it comes to your health, the fact that you can eat them without worrying about the numbers on the scale creeping up is good news.

They’ve been shown to fight inflammation, atrial fibrillation, heart failure, cancer, and other chronic diseases.

With their high flavonoid levels, they also boost the health of your brain which might even help you stave off Alzheimer’s.

You discover just how nuts work in your body and which nuts offer the biggest bang for your buck in a post by my colleague Jenny Smiechowski that explains nuts are disease kryptonite.

And, the next time you’re in the mood for a snack, reach for a handful of walnuts. They may not be truly calorie-free but they are guilt-free.

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Dr. Adria Schmedthorst

By Dr. Adria Schmedthorst

Dr. Adria Schmedthorst is a board-certified Doctor of Chiropractic, with more than 20 years of experience. She has dedicated herself to helping others enjoy life at every age through the use of alternative medicine and natural wellness options. Dr. Schmedthorst enjoys sharing her knowledge with the alternative healthcare community, providing solutions for men and women who are ready to take control of their health the natural way.