Two of the most overlooked foods there are when it comes to a weight loss plan are nuts and seeds. This is because both are typically considered high fat foods, and people who are trying to lose weight run from any food that is considered high fat. The truth of the matter, however, is that nuts and seeds can be of great benefit to anyone who is on a weight loss journey. In fact, Discovery Health goes so far as to label them “fat fighting foods”, despite their high fat content. Most nuts get “75% to 85%” of their calories from fat.
If nuts and seeds are so high in fat and calories, what properties do they have that can benefit weight loss? One reason is that nuts are high in protein. According to WebMd, research shows that people who eat a diet high in protein are better able to control their appetites and calorie intake. To get the maximum effect, it is suggested that people eat at least 120 grams of protein a day. One ounce of walnuts has 14 grams of protein, 185 calories, and 18 grams of fat. Of that fat, however, only 2 grams is saturated fat (the fat that is the most unhealthy)
Adding nuts to your diet does not mean you have to sit down and eat them straight from your hand. If you do this, it is actually very easy to overindulge. The key to using nuts as part of your weight loss program is eating them in moderation. This can be done by adding them to other foods. Here are some of my favorite ways to incorporate nuts into my diet:
Add to yogurt. A wonderful breakfast or snack is to add a few walnuts and some fresh berries to a cup of yogurt. Not only is it healthy and delicious, it is very filling and will keep you from indulging in more high fat foods.
Add to cereal. Another great way to incorporate nuts into your diet is to add a handful to y our cereal in the morning. Not only to they add some delicious flavor and crunch, they will help get your metabolism boosted early in the day.
Trail mix. Make your own trail mix of some favorite healthy foods you may enjoy. Some of my favorites are raisins, dried cranberries, dried blueberries, yogurt covered raisins, and walnuts. This is a great snack to carry along with you in your purse for those middle of the day munchies.
Incorporate into your recipes. Use your creativity and add nuts and seeds to your recipes. They are a great addition to muffins, quick breads, salads, meat loaf, and casseroles. You can grind them up as fine as you want and nobody will even know they are in there. You will still get the same delicious flavor.
Remember that if you are using shelled nuts, they can get rancid easily due to the high fat content, unless they are stored in a cool dry place. It is recommended that you keep them in the refrigerator or freezer. Start incorporating nuts and seeds into your weight loss plan today and see what a difference it will make.