Is trying to lose weight driving you nuts? Well, maybe it should just drive you to nuts.
New findings published in the journal Nutrients highlight the power that nuts have to help you lose weight and keep it lost.
UCLA researchers put 95 overweight or obese people ages 30 to 68 on a diet that provided 500 calories less than required to maintain their resting metabolic rate for 12 weeks, then a maintenance diet for another 12 weeks. The diet included 1.5 ounces of mixed nuts for one half of the group and pretzels for the other half. (Both snacks delivered the same amount of calories).
Importantly, only 16.4% of the those eating nuts dropped out of the program, while almost 37% of the pretzel group did.
Nuts offer healthy fats and protein that keep you feeling full much longer than the simple carbohydrates found in pretzels. And while both groups lost weight by week 12, at 24 weeks the nut-eaters were more successful at maintaining the weight loss.
In addition, the nut-eaters saw a decrease in heart rate and an increase in their blood level of oleic acid, the main component of olive oil, which is a regulator of immune function and helps reduce bad LDL cholesterol levels.
We like to eat 14 walnut halves a day, as well as and the "Mac 'N' Cheese-Less" (with cashews) and "Cashew-naise" recipes in the "What to Cook When Cookbook."
Just remember, nuts are high in calories, so limit your intake to the 1.5 ounces a day that the study found so healthful.
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