Worried that eating nuts could cause weight gain? Don’t be. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics posits that the combination of dietary fiber and protein in nuts can help you feel fuller, making them something of a snack-time superstar. And, in a study published in The Journal of Nutrition in 2008, researchers concluded that including nuts in a weight loss diet will not compromise results. Even better? The researchers noted that eating nuts may actually enhance weight loss results and improve overall diet quality—just as long as you don’t go too nuts with your portion sizes.
Plus, recent research suggests that nuts might actually help you live longer. That’s right: In a study published in the International Journal of Epidemiology in 2015, compared to non-nut eaters, people who ate at least 10 grams daily had a 23 percent lower chance of death from any cause. These findings echo those of other studies, which have linked nut consumption with a reduced risk of dying from heart disease, cancer, diabetes and neurodegenerative diseases.
So how do you know how many nuts will help your health while also supporting your weight loss? We suggest consuming about a half an ounce. For most nuts, this will exceed the 10 grams used in the study mentioned above without costing you too many calories. Plus, on Nutrisystem, a half ounce counts as one PowerFuel, so this serving size fits perfectly with your plan.
Before you go nuts trying to figure out what a half ounce of your favorite nut looks like, check out this chart:
|Brazil Nuts||About 3|
|Pecans||About 9 halves|
|Pine Nuts||About 83|
Source: American Dietetic Association
Concerned you won’t feel full eating these amounts? Try using them as a meal-time add-on. Throw some walnuts or pine nuts in your next salad, top your oatmeal with pecans, or whip up a veggie stir-fry and toss in some cashews. If snacking is more your style, combine nuts with dried fruit for a make-your-own trail mix or top your yogurt with slivered almonds.