A study recently has found that people who include nuts in their diet are more likely to reduce weight gain and lower the risk of overweight and obesity.
The finding is published in the online version of the European Journal of Nutrition.
Researchers evaluated diet and lifestyle data from more than 373,000 individuals from 10 European countries between the ages of 25 and 70.
They said that many people have historically assumed that nuts — an energy-dense, high-fat food — are not a good choice for individuals who want to lose weight. The findings, however, contradict that assumption.
In their five-year study, the team found that participants gained a mean average of 2.1 kilograms during the five-year period of the study.
However, participants who ate the most nuts not only had less weight gain than their nut-abstaining peers, but also enjoyed a 5 percent lower risk of becoming overweight or obese.
The researchers have evaluated nuts in the past and found that they are positively associated with a variety of health benefits, including healthy aging and memory function in seniors.
This study, however, represents the first time they have investigated the relationship between nuts and weight on a large scale.
Peanuts, which are technically a ground nut, were included in the study along with almonds, hazelnuts, pistachios and walnuts, which are classified as tree nuts.
The team analyzed information on the dietary practices and body mass indexes of 373,293 participants.
They recommend that people eat nuts more often, pointing out that they offer energy, good fats, protein, vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals.
“Eat nuts during your meal,” they suggested. “Put them at the center of your plate to replace animal products. They’re very satiating.”