Benefits Of Nuts For Weight Loss 

What are nuts

A nut is a fruit made up of a typically edible kernel that is protected by a hard or tough nutshell. Macadamia nuts and brazil nuts are a couple of instances of nuts. Others include chestnuts, peanuts, cashew nuts, walnuts, hazelnuts, and pecans. Tree nuts and peanuts include complex matrices rich in unsaturated fatty acids and other bioactive substances, including high-quality vegetable protein, fibre, minerals, tocopherol, phytosterols, and phenolic compounds. Nuts are nutrient-dense foods with these complex matrices. Nuts have a special composition that makes them likely to have a positive impact on health outcomes.

Do nuts help you lose weight?

Benefits of nuts for weight loss

Due to their high fat and calorie content, many people believe that including nuts in their diet will cause them to gain weight. Numerous observational studies have discovered that consuming nuts on a daily basis is not connected to weight gain and might even prevent it. It's unclear why this happens, although it might be partially because people who eat nuts lead healthier lifestyles. Long-term use of nuts (about one handful daily) as a replacement for less healthy foods can be introduced as a healthy diet component for the prevention of obesity. 

However, data are conflicting, and higher-quality studies are required to prove the association between nuts and enhanced calorie burning. Nuts may increase fat and calorie burning. Other plausible theories for the lack of weight gain associated with increased nut consumption include: 

  1. Nuts have a satiating effect, which lowers total energy intake
  2. The composition of nuts may affect energy metabolism in a way that makes up for the increase in energy availability and 
  3. Reverse causation (i.e. obese people avoiding nuts due to the fat content, whereas lean people have fewer restrictions)

Other health benefits of nuts

Consuming nuts has been linked in epidemiologic research to lower rates of diabetes in women, gallstones, and coronary heart disease in both sexes. Limited research also points to favourable effects on inflammation, cancer, and hypertension.

Nutritional facts

Content below extracted from Ros E paper titled “Health benefits of nut consumption”.1

Clearly, nuts are a nutrient-dense food. Nuts have a high total fat content, ranging from 46% in cashews and pistachios to 76% in macadamia nuts, and they give 20 to 30 kJ/g, with the exception of chestnuts, which have a low fat content. So, after vegetable oils, nuts are one of the naturally occurring plant foods highest in fat. However, the monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA), polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA), and linolenic acid (ALA) make up approximately half of the total fat content of nuts, whereas the saturated fatty acid (SFA) concentration ranges from 4 to 16 percent (ALA). The plant omega-3 fatty acids linoleic acid and linolenic acid (ALA) are both present. The specific lipid profile of nuts in general, and walnuts in particular, is expected to play a significant role in the positive health consequences of regular nut consumption, as it is explained below.

Nuts are abundant sources of additional bioactive macronutrients that may have positive effects on cardiovascular and metabolic outcomes. They contain a lot of L-arginine and are frequently a great source of protein (around 25% of the calories). Consuming nuts may help increase vascular responsiveness since this amino acid is a precursor to the natural vasodilator, nitric oxide, which reduces blood pressure. Nuts are also a good source of dietary fibre, which is present in amounts of 4 to 11 g per 100 g and contributes 5–10% of the daily requirement.

There are considerable levels of critical micronutrients in nuts that, when ingested in amounts above that required to prevent deficient conditions, are linked to better health. The B vitamin folate, required for normal cellular activity, is present in significant concentrations in nuts. Nuts are abundant in antioxidant vitamins and have a high antioxidant load. Antioxidants have been diminished by bleaching and skinless nuts.

Despite the fact that nuts lack cholesterol, their fatty portion includes significant amounts of chemically similar non cholesterol sterols. When present in adequate levels, they prevent the absorption of cholesterol and so aid in lowering blood cholesterol.

Nuts have the highest nutritional density in terms of beneficial elements like calcium, magnesium, and potassium when compared to other typical foods. The salt level in raw or roasted but otherwise unprocessed nuts is relatively low, ranging from undetectable in hazelnuts to 18 mg/100 g in peanuts. This is similar to that of most vegetables. Low sodium intake along with high calcium, magnesium, and potassium intake is linked to reduced risk of arterial hypertension, insulin resistance, and overall cardiovascular risk.

Side effects and other concerns

  • Possibly weight gain

Nuts can help you lose weight because they are so filling, but there is a catch: This only holds true if you eat a moderate amount of nuts. If you eat more than the suggested handful, you risk putting on weight.

That's because nuts have a high calorie content per ounce compared to many other foods. For instance, 1 ounce of almonds has roughly 160 calories; therefore, even doubling your serving will provide you 320 calories as a snack. If you don't take into consideration the extra calories you eat during the day, that could lead to weight gain.

  • Gas, bloating, and digestive issues may occur

Due to the phytates and tannins found in nuts, which make them hard to digest, feeling gassy or bloated after eating nuts is a common side effect. Additionally, consuming too much fat, which is abundant in nuts, might cause diarrhoea. How may these unpleasant issues be avoided? Try to choose sprouted nuts and follow the daily serving size recommendations.

  • In rare cases, too many Brazil nuts can cause selenium poisoning

Brazil nuts naturally contain a lot of selenium; in fact, a 1-ounce serving (six to eight nuts) has about ten times the daily recommended intake (55 micrograms). Your breath may smell, your nails may get brittle, and your muscles and joints may become sore as a result of selenium toxicity. (Note that eating other types of nuts won't cause selenium excess; it only occurs in Brazil nuts.) Simply limiting your intake of nuts is the answer to all of these problems.

  • Nut allergy

When the immune system of the body reacts abnormally to a certain food, it is called an allergy. Allergy symptoms are frequently minor, but they can also be highly dangerous. The most severe allergic reaction, anaphylaxis, has the potential to be fatal.


In conclusion, it has been demonstrated that the macronutrient, micronutrient, and non-nutrient components of nutsall help to lower the risk of cardiovascular disease and its associated metabolic disturbances. Due to the fact that the whole is always preferable to the parts, entire nuts that are fresh, unpeeled, and otherwise undisturbed may be thought of as natural health capsules.


  1. Ros E. Health benefits of nut consumption. Nutrients. 2010;2(7):652-682. doi:10.3390/nu2070652
This content is purely informational and isn’t medical guidance. It shouldn’t replace professional medical counsel. Always consult your physician regarding treatment risks and benefits. See our editorial standards for more details.

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Misha Siddiqui

Master's degree, Integrated immunology, University of Oxford, England

2nd year PhD candidate at institute of cancer research and AstraZeneca applying deep learning to understanding immunometabolism using multi-omics. I have a masters in integrated immunology from the university of oxford and undergraduate in applied medical sciences from UCL.

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