Science Denies the Myth: Nut Presence in a Diet Doesn’t Mean a Higher Weight Gain


November 16, 2017

It has long been assumed popularly that nut consumption leads to a weight gain. Their taste and their undeniable gastronomic qualities are out of question, and so are their nutritional properties. However, the belief that they are a fattening food has been commonly accepted for decades.

Energy-Dense Foods

Nut presence in a diet does not mean a higher weight gain.

The fact that they are energy-dense foods, since they can provide up to 200kcal per serving (30 grams), may wrongly lead to the conclusion that those who consume nuts as part of their regular diet will probably experience a higher weight gain than those who don’t.

However, and happily enough for those who love their consumption, new scientific research has provided enlightening results in this regard. A recent study published in the European Journal of Nutrition has come to the conclusion that, when compared to a nut-free diet, the presence of nuts in a diet leads to a more moderate weight increase.

A Study with 375,000 Participants

Nut presence in a diet does not mean a higher weight gain.

Nearly 375,000 volunteers recruited between 1992 and 2000 from 10 European countries participated in the mentioned study: Their body weight was measured at the beginning of the trial and after 5 years. At the same time, the diet of the participants was followed and analyzed through questionnaires.

The results revealed that those participants who had consumed more nuts (more than one serving per week), incorporated to a standard diet, did gain weight, but less than those who hadn’t. Additionally,  higher nut consumers also demonstrated a lower risk of becoming overweight or obese. Specifically, individuals consuming more nuts had a 5% less risk of obesity or overweight.

‘A Non-Fattening Healthy Food’

Nut presence in a diet does not mean a higher weight gain.

Therefore, the results of the study emphatically deny what has eventually been proven a myth: that the presence of nuts in a diet automatically means a higher weight gain. “This is the largest study ever conducted, showing that nuts are a non-fattening healthy food”, said Dr. Joan Sabate, Professor of Nutrition at Loma Linda University and Senior Investigator of this research.

These findings add even more reasons to include nuts in our diet: they can be added to the health benefits, nutritional properties and, of course, taste and gastronomic value of nuts. Altogether makes them a perfect fit for a healthy and enjoyable diet.


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