Nutrition Myths
Does eating nuts make you fat?

SUMMARY

  • Nuts are energy dense foods and need to be eaten in moderation.
  • An ounce of nuts per day will not make you gain weight and might even help you to lose weight.
Advertisement

ON THIS PAGE

Does eating nuts make you fat?

People generally think that because nuts are very high in energy nutrients, especially fat, they must be adding to weight gain. To understand why there is such a widespread concern, here are some examples of the  energy producing nutrients per 100 grams of some nuts and seeds:

  • Almonds have 575 calories, 22 grams of carbohydrates, 21 grams of proteins and 49 grams of fat
  • Cashews have 553 calories, 33 grams of carbohydrates, 18 grams of protein and 43 grams of fat
  • Walnuts have 653 calories, 13.6 grams of carbohydrates, 15 grams of proteins and 65 grams of fat

Why are nuts good for weight loss?

Long term studies have shown that frequent nut consumption actually reduces the risk of weight gain and is associated with a slight weight loss. It was shown that people who eat small servings (1oz – 28g) 2-5 times per week do not weigh more than those who don’t consume  nuts or eat them less than once per week. (1, 2, 3, 4)

The following are some reasons why nut consumption is so valuable in weight control:

  • People who eat nuts excrete more fat and, therefore, more energy.

    Whole nuts are not digested and absorbed properly due to their fiber content. Up to 15% of the energy from nuts is not absorbed. (5, 6, 7)

    This means that by eating nuts, the energy your body absorbs is less than what is on the nutrition label or other nutritional information data sources, by the amount of fat that is trapped inside the fibers (up to 15%).

  • The high fat content of nuts increases hormones such as cholecystokinin and glucagon like peptide-1 (GLP-1) which increase satiety. (8, 9, 10)
  • Nuts improve carbohydrate metabolism. (11, 12, 7)
  • Eating nuts frequently leads to dietary compensation. By eating nuts, we eat less of other foods. Therefore, the energy provided from nuts is offset by the reduction in the intake of other foods. (13, 7)
  • Due to their high protein and fat content, nuts may increase the energy expenditure when resting, resulting in less fat accumulation in the body.
    In other words, protein makes you burn more fat when you are at rest.However, more studies are needed. (14)
  • Eating nuts may improve insulin sensitivity, resulting in an increased metabolism of fat. (15, 16)

Another issue with this myth is the misconception that a diet rich in fatty foods is assumed to cause weight gain by accumulating dietary fat as body fat. Studies show, however, that a diet rich in fat and low in carbohydrates shows the best results in weight loss. (17)

Related Posts

Obesity in adults – Global Statistics In 2014, 39% of the global population were considered overweight and 13% obese. Of the developed countries, United States had the highest percentages and Japan the lowest.
Should we count Calories to lose or maintain weight? Counting calories is an outdated and unreliable method used by many weight loss programs. It ignores key factors that play a crucial role in how energy is burned.
Does fiber help you lose weight? A high fiber diet contributes to weight loss by: replacing high energy foods; increasing satiety through chewing; creating a bulk with water; slowing down the absorption of nutrients, fat and carbohydrate and reducing in...
How much water should you drink to lose weight? Drinking more water contributes to lose weight by increasing the metabolic rate. It may be associated with the reduction of appetite and fluid retention.
Obesity in England – Statistics Latest statistics show that in 2014 around one-quarter of adults in England were obese and 2% of men and 4% of women were morbidly obese. The statistics also show differences between gender and ethnic/racial group.
Advertisement
Advertisement

Get updates

Receive regular updates on nutrition myths, facts and curiosities. All based on the latest scientific evidence.

/* ]]> */