Best Nuts For Weight Loss
As part of a healthy diet and exercise plan, eating nuts can be a solid weight loss strategy. Consider them your dietary wingman — when you’re feeling vulnerable, they can keep you from reaching for less healthy options. Additionally, nuts contain nutrients that have many other benefits, such as improving cardiovascular health.
Can you lose weight eating nuts?
They can, as long as you don’t gobble them hand over fist. Nuts do an excellent job of keeping you satiated so you don’t reach for less healthy options.
But that’s not a license for unlimited snacking. As with everything edible, serving size is important — their fat and calories can add up.
The great news is that even a small number of nuts can provide you with an outsize sense of satisfaction. For example:
To help you stay on target, you can buy several kinds of nuts in single-serving packs, or portion them out yourself at home and store them in individual baggies.
Be sure to choose unsalted or dry-roasted varieties — a lot of packaged nuts (including many in jars on grocery-store shelves or in bags near the checkout counter) are cooked in oil and tossed in salt, adding unnecessary fat and sodium.
The next time you’re craving a snack, reach for one of the serving sizes suggested below. These nuts have the highest protein and fiber content, and studies have found that some of them seem to help boost weight loss.
Which nuts help you lose weight?
1 oz (about 23 almonds): 164 calories, 6 g protein, 14 g fat, 6 g carbs, 3.5 g fiber
Almonds’ basic stats — a protein-fiber ratio that puts them at the top of their class — make them a weight loss MVP. And research shows that a diet that incorporates almonds can result in greater weight loss and the reduction of belly fat than eating regimens that don’t include almonds. A 2016 study published in The Journal of Nutrition found that overweight adults on a low-calorie diet who ate about one-quarter cup of almonds daily lost more weight and belly fat than those on a nut-free diet. The researchers theorized that’s because nuts made the participants feel more satiated, motivating them to eat smaller portions at mealtime and cut back on snacking.
1 oz (about 49 nuts): 159 calories, 6 g protein, 13 g fat, 8 g carbs, 3 g fiber
Pistachios are an underrated nut for weight loss: They’re as rich in protein and fiber as almonds. In a study published by the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, people who ate almost 2 ounces of pistachios over three months reduced their body-mass index (BMI) twice as much as people who snacked on pretzels instead. Additionally, removing pistachio shells provides a visual cue of how much you’ve consumed, which may lead to eating less.
1 oz (about 14 halves): 185 calories, 4 g protein, 18 g fat, 4 g carbs, 2 g fiber
In addition to being high in satiating protein and fiber, walnuts may be a true brain food. According to Harvard Medical School, walnuts appear to activate a part of the brain responsible for appetite and impulse control. And a recent study by the UCLA School of Medicine showed that eating half an ounce of walnuts per day helped people perform better on brain function tests, including tests of memory.
1 oz (about 28 nuts): 161 calories, 7 g protein, 14 g fat, 5 g carbs, 2 g fiber
Technically a legume, peanuts are deliciously satiating by themselves or as part of peanut butter. They’re rich in MUFAs, a.k.a. monounsaturated fatty acids, which are beneficial to heart health. When choosing peanut butter, opt for one with no added sugar and as few ingredients as possible, if not just peanuts and maybe a touch of salt.
1 oz (about 18 medium nuts): 156 calories, 5 g protein, 12 g fat, 9 g carbs, 1 g fiber
A good source protein and healthy fats, cashews are also a satisfying snack. Additionally, studies show that a diet rich in cashews may help reduce blood pressure. They’re also high in magnesium, a mineral required to help the body metabolize carbs and fat for energy.