Many people avoid eating nuts because of their high fat content. They are afraid they will gain weight if they eat nuts, and may instead eat low fat, high carb foods. This may sound like nonsense to some of you, but is this fear justified at all? I found a very interesting study which compared eating almonds with eating complex carbohydrates for weight reduction. According to City of Hope National Medical Center, Duarte, CA, in Almonds vs complex carbohydrates in a weight reduction program:
Our findings suggest that an almond-enriched LCD improves a preponderance of the abnormalities associated with the metabolic syndrome. Both dietary interventions were effective in decreasing body weight beyond the weight loss observed during long-term pharmacological interventions; however, the almond-LCD group experienced a sustained and greater weight reduction for the duration of the 24-week intervention. Almond supplementation of a formula-based LCD is a novel alternative to self-selected complex carbohydrates and has a potential role in reducing the public health implications of obesity.
The conclusion was the opposite of what many people believe. This may be due to the fact that on average we only absorb about 70% – 80% of the calories from nuts. This is largely due to their high fiber content. In general, people who eat the most nuts tend to be slimmer and healthier on average. And don’t forget that the fat in most nuts, in particular almonds, is the healthy kind.