Psychology Today had an article a while back called “Fighting Fat with Food”. The article reported on a study that tried to determine which foods are most commonly connected with weight loss and which seem to promote weight gain.
The Bad List
I probably don’t need to tell you which foods were found to be fattening. The very predictable list goes like this: (worst foods first)
1. Potato chips
2. French fries
3. Sugar-sweetened beverages (soda and fruit juices)
4. Unprocessed red meats
5. Processed meats
6. Sweets and desserts
7. Refined grains
However, you may be surprised at one of the foods that was in the top five for weight loss.
The study (which included more that 120,000 people over a 20-year period) showed that a moderate consumption of nuts – yes, high calorie nuts – can actually help with weight loss.
Aren’t Nuts Fattening?
Although nuts have a high dietary-fat content, this fat is largely monounsaturated and polyunsaturated – the good kinds of fat.
In addition, the fats found in nuts stimulate the production of a chemical in the body, called cholecystokinin. This is a natural chemical that gives a satiety signal to the brain and promotes an extended sense of satisfaction after eating these fats, thus reducing cravings and causing you to eat less throughout the day.
An excellent source of fiber, a handful of nuts every day can be an effectual part of a weight loss program. Studies show that fiber not only helps to burn fat, but it also suppresses the appetite and reduces cravings.
The Skinny Nut
A moderate consumption of nuts increases the body’s metabolic rate, making weight loss easier. In fact, some studies show that nuts can raise the metabolic rate by more than 10 percent.
Researchers also say that glucose and insulin levels are more stable for those who include nuts in their diet. This is beneficial for weight loss, as large insulin swings tend to promote fat storage.
Want to include more of these healthful jewels in your diet?
Start your day off right with this luscious Tropical Smoothie – made with coconut milk and almond milk.
Wonderful Waffles have 1/3 cup of super-nutritious almonds in every batch.
This amazing Low-Fat Creamy Italian Salad Dressing is probably the last place you’d expect to find nuts, but I’ve used raw cashews blended to a cream to replace other fattening ingredients so you can have a rich and creamy dressing without adding inches to your waistline.
Skinny Scalloped Potatoes use slimming cashews for their creaminess instead of fattening butter and cream.
Coconut Chewy Crispies are a healthy way to satisfy that sweet tooth.
These Gluten-Free Date Bars are made with brain-healthy (and slimming) walnuts.
Enjoy a Walnut Blueberry Smoothie – loads of antioxidants and omega-3’s.
No-Bake Coconut Date Bites – A healthy breakfast or dessert
Coconut Oatmeal Cookies – luscious dessert you don’t have to feel quite so guilty about!