Studies find benefits in eating nuts
Nuts are rich in fibre and protein, but can also be high in fats, leaving people to wonder if they should be part of a healthy diet.
However, in a recent study, eating nuts has been linked to decreased weight gain and lower risk for type 2 diabetes.
A research team from the Harvard School of Public Health recently reviewed published studies on the association between nut consumption, weight gain and obesity, and risk for type 2 diabetes. They concluded that long-term consumption of nuts was tied to lower weight gain and obesity. The researchers also found a lower risk for type 2 diabetes in people who ate nuts (especially walnuts) regularly over many years.
The authors explained that there could be several reasons for the link between nut consumption and lower body weight. Since nuts are high in fibre and protein, people who eat them feel full faster so may not eat as much. Additionally, the fats in nuts increase a process in the body called oxidation, which decreases fat accumulation.
Nuts are also rich in vitamins and minerals, and the authors felt these nutrients may have contributed to the link with lower rates of type 2 diabetes and may also be helpful in preventing other chronic diseases.
“Regular consumption (approximately one handful daily) of nuts over the long term, as a replacement to less healthful foods, can be incorporated as a component of a healthy diet for the prevention of obesity and type 2 diabetes.” the authors wrote.