If you’re trying to lose weight, you may be avoiding nuts because of their high calorie count. But contrary to common misconceptions, you’re missing out on a super food that could actually help you achieve natural weight loss. Adding a variety of nuts – like almonds, pistachios, and walnuts – into your diet is a simple step that you can take to help you on your natural weight loss journey.
Not only do nuts have an intense flavor, they also contain healthy fats, fiber, protein and phytochemicals that help to make you feel satisfied after eating. This means that you’re less likely to reach for an additional snack, reducing the amount of food (and calories) that you consume throughout the day.
Eating Nuts is Hard Work
Unlike many unhealthy, processed snack foods that are frequently consumed, nuts take a fair amount of effort to eat. A lot of chewing is necessary in order to make the nuts easy to swallow and this takes time. Chewing helps to break down the cell wall of the nuts which releases some of the healthy fats and proteins in the nuts. These healthy fats and proteins then help to release appetite-controlling hormones therefore increasing your feeling of satiety and triggering you to eat less.
Nut Shells Slow You Down
To get the best possible benefit from eating nuts, you should eat them in their rawest form. While a shelled nut may be more convenient and appealing, opt for nuts that are still in their shells whenever possible. Removing the shells takes time which helps to slow down the eating process. This increased time will allow your body time to feel satisfied and in turn you’ll consume fewer calories. Shelled nuts are also fresher, making their healthy fats more potent and less likely to be harmed through rancidity.
Choose Nuts Instead of Unhealthy Snack Options
Need a snack? Reach for a handful of nuts instead of the usual processed calorie-packed snack. The key to sticking with healthy eating is to follow a diet that is sustainable. While nuts are high in calories, they are full of essential vitamins and nutrients including healthy fats that will help you get through your day. Including nuts in your natural weight loss diet by eating them whole; using them in recipes; or sprinkling them on top of your food; are a good ways to help you adhere to a weight loss program. Adding a mix of nuts into your diet will allow you to have a tasty treat and will help to reduce your cravings for other unhealthy foods. And because nuts are low in sugar, eating them instead of candy or chocolate treats will help to reduce risk of diabetes.
Other Health Benefits of Nuts
Not only do nuts help with natural weight loss, they also provide you with a multitude of other health benefits that are worth mentioning. The healthy fats found in nuts, including omega-3 fatty acids, have brain and heart benefits. In addition, the high level of fiber found in nuts has been shown to help protect against coronary heart disease.
Nuts are a great food that can help with natural weight loss, but you must remember that they do contain a significant number of calories, so moderation is key. Try adding a handful or two to your daily diet in addition to other healthy food choices like fresh fruits and veggies, whole grain products, low fat dairy and lean meats. Eating a balanced diet, including a variety of nuts, and exercising regularly will put you on the right track towards healthy, natural weight loss.
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