Finding the perfect healthy snack that keeps you full and not, well, reaching for more food in-between meals is ideal. Staying fuller longer helps you reach those weight-loss goals quicker, after all. And one healthy snack that always gets a stamp of approval is nuts. But what if your nut snacking habit is actually having the opposite effect, causing you to gain weight?
Sorry to break it to you, but there’s a chance your go-to healthy food might be causing you to pack on the pounds instead of dropping them.
That is, if you’re not consuming them the right way.
How are nuts causing weight gain?
So let’s break this down a bit. According to Jerlyn Jones, R.D.N., L.D., spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and owner of The Lifestyle Dietitian, the problem with nuts is that it’s very easy to reach for a handful to munch on. Since nuts help keep you energized as they’re packed with protein, vitamins, fiber, and healthy fats, it’s easy to just keep keeping them. Jones explains it’s important to be mindful of just how much you’re eating daily, as the correct serving is 1/4 cup, which, yes, you can easily exceed.
If you find yourself downing handful after handful, ignoring the correct portion size you could start to gain weight, stripping all the positive health benefits you get from eating nuts. Nuts are calorie-dense so the more you consume, the more calories you’re consuming without even realizing it. Your healthy snack just transformed right before your eyes, thanks to the portion size!
Nuts also have the potential to cause gas and bloating, so again, there goes your chance at having a flat belly if you’re eating too many nuts.
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How can you avoid gaining weight while still eating nuts?
Now, before you go ahead and stay away from nuts forever, we have a solution. You just want to be sure you’re making smarter choices, that’s all!
If you want to add some nuts to your morning oatmeal or mixed in your salad to make it a more filling meal, go right ahead. Again, keep the number of nuts you’re eating throughout the day in mind so you don’t go over the recommended limit. If you plan to have walnuts, almonds, or some Brazil nuts as a mid-day snack, perhaps you avoid loading up on your entire day’s worth at breakfast. You’ll want to make sure you’re not eating nuts that are not coated in sugar or salt either, as that strips away more of their natural benefits, too.
Like anything else, nuts in moderation is a great addition to your diet. Just be sure you don’t overdo it, otherwise, you might not reach that flat belly goal you’re working so hard toward.