The Skinny on Nuts
Media Release 22 October 2013
The Skinny on Nuts
Today is National Nut Day – the day Kiwis celebrate all that is magnificent about nuts. This year Mother Earth and Alison’s Pantry have joined forces to uncover some thought-provoking research about this nutritious natural food.
While most Kiwis wouldn’t associate eating nuts with squeezing into their favourite skinny jeans, recent evidence suggests regular nut consumption can assist with maintaining a healthy weight.
While the humble nut has had a bad rap for being high in fat, results from studies and clinical trials suggest regular nut consumption will not lead to weight gain, and may even help in promoting weight loss.
A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in June 2013 concluded that compared with control diets, diets enriched with nuts did not increase body weight, body mass index or waist circumference in controlled clinical trials.
Despite nuts being energy dense foods, studies have indicated that the risk of obesity does not rise with increased nut consumption. A diet high in nuts can also help in reducing the risk of heart disease, provides additional protein and fibre and may promote healthy skin and hair.
The Human Nutrition team at the University of Otago has conducted studies into eating nuts and the impact on body weight. Their 12 week clinical trial supported international findings that a diet rich in nuts did not compromise body weight.
Furthermore, the Otago researchers found there was no difference in the nutritional benefits between raw or lightly (dry) roasted and lightly salted nuts.
The NZ Nutrition Foundation recommends a daily intake of a handful of nuts (or 30g), which equates to around 20 almonds or 15 cashews.
Sarah Hanrahan, Nutritionist for the Foundation, says including a variety of nuts in the diet is a good idea for optimal health.
“Nuts are a really tasty, delicious snack and entirely guilt free,” she says. “As well as being highly nutritious, they’re convenient and great value. They really are the ultimate fast food.
“If you compare a handful of nuts with a handful of chips or couple of cookies, nuts provide better value for money and you’re also consuming a nutrient-loaded snack which will satisfy your appetite for much longer!”