Tarragona, Spain — Nuts are unlikely to reduce the risk of obesity, according to research in the current issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
In 31 clinical trials that compared diets including nuts with diets excluding nuts and had outcomes measuring body weight, BMI or waist circumference — all indicators of a risk of obesity — little difference was seen between the two groups. The studies followed the participants for periods ranging from two weeks to five years.
Weight and waist size was comparable between those whose diets included nuts and those whose diets did not, the authors conclude. In fact, at the end of follow-up, those whose diets included nuts lost an average of 1.4 pounds and half an inch from their waists. Researchers speculate that the unsaturated fats in nuts suppressed hunger.
“Although the magnitude of these effects was modest, the results allay the fear that nut consumption may promote obesity,” the authors write. “Our findings support the inclusion of nuts in healthy diets for cardiovascular prevention.”