Are nuts friend or foe for weight loss?

A low calorie diet is the first thing that comes to the mind to achieve weight loss goal, therefore it is assumed that high fat foods like nuts and seeds should be avoided while on a weight loss plan considering their calorie dense nature.

 But Nuts are a classic example of how all calories are not bad calories.

 let me elaborate the same by an example from your daily diet.

 Evening tea with cookie vs handful pistachios 

A cookie has around 50 calories about the same as 10 pistachios

Then What’s the difference 

Quite a bit!

The sugar in the cookie will spike your blood sugar levels and insulin which will cause your body to store fat and make u hungrier which will ultimately lead to weight gain. The unhealthy fat will raise the triglycerides- lower the  good cholesterol contribute to fatty liver and increase stress hormones.

The pistachios however have the opposite effect, high in protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals they are packed with satiating healthy fats that improve your cholesterol profile and make you less hungry. they would keep your blood sugar level steady and the antioxidants will reduce the inflammation.

 Nuts -A nutritional powerhouse 

Nuts  and seeds are the perfect antidote to hunger pangs as they are low in sugar high in protein and good fat and fiber rich. Research shows that people who regularly eat these gain less weight than those who don’t. 

Nuts are a good source of healthy anti-inflammatory omega 3 fats and contain minerals like zinc  magnesium and copper in abundance, Good for weight loss, arterial health and blood pressure they lower the oxidative cell damage too.

Nutrition in some common nuts 

Almonds- are rich in magnesium and vitamin E good for heart health and lowering cholesterol.

Walnuts – rich in omega 3 good for skin hair nails and healthy brain function.

Pistachios- my favorite!

contain arginine an amino acid found only in meat it produces nitric oxide which improves the blood flow.

Cashew nuts -cashews are a rich source of copper magnesium and manganese nutrients important for energy production brain health and bone health.

Seeds 

Each variety of seeds has its own distinctive nutritive profile of fats minerals and antioxidants proteins and fiber.

But flaxseeds have an edge as they contain plant based omega3 and lignans which help in weight loss and helpful in balancing hormones and improve overall digestive health.

But you could have a variety in your diet with pumpkin seeds, chia seeds and sesame seeds for their nutritional goodness. 

While pumpkin are laden with zinc and iron chia seeds with fiber and omega 3 and sesame for calcium  and magnesium.

 chia are good to go with your shakes and smoothies or salads.

Pumpkin and sesame are good with savories like stir fries and breads.

One of my all time favourite salad is where I throw greens and olives with some feta cheese. toss it with some vinegar dressing and top it with some pumpkin seeds.

Soak the nuts ?

I would recommend to do half and half 

Phytates in nuts are very good for the body but excess of it could damage stomach lining and hamper the absorption of iron so when you soak some of your nuts like almonds, walnuts chia seeds you could reduce the phytates.

Sum it up

It’s hard to go wrong with most nuts and seeds, as long as you are eating them unsalted and free from artificial flavors and colors but a handful is recommended daily for most of these.

The skin of nuts also contain polyphenols so leave the skin on while consuming.

Powerhouse of nutrition add these to your meals for the dose of good fat or have them as snack. 

 Buy nuts in small quantities so that the fats don’t go rancid and keep these in airtight containers.

If you don’t go nuts over it …Nuts are your friends on  weight loss journey  and heart health.