Galen was a standout his first season at the YMCA, when he was 8. The next year we signed up for the club team, which turned our six-week rec league season into six months of intense tournament play. He played in a 3-on-3 league over the summer and, at the conclusion of the club season the following spring, he began playing with an Amateur Athletic Union team, a national youth sports organization that, in addition to increasing the level of competition also expanded our travel radius to a tristate region. But while I (most of the time) looked forward to swimming practices and meets, the chance to test my mettle against my peers, basketball tournaments made Galen nothing but miserable. “Maybe it’s time to quit,” I said. “If I quit basketball, what sport do I play?” Galen asked. “How about NO sport,” I said. You can play basketball with friends all you want, but you don’t have to play on a team. “Every kid at my school plays something.” If he didn’t have a sport, he continued, “I’ll be a nobody.” “I’m only trying to consider how our light is spent,” I told Galen. He didn’t become a nobody or stop being an athlete.
Nuts are extremely healthy, as they’re packed full of nutrients and antioxidants (1).
However, they’re also high in fat and calories, causing many people to avoid nuts out of fear that they are fattening.
This article looks at the evidence to determine whether nuts are weight loss friendly or fattening.
Nuts Are High in Fat And Calories
Nuts are high in calories.
This is because a large part of them is fat, which is a concentrated source of energy. One gram of fat contains 9 calories, while one gram of carbs or protein contains just 4 calories.
Nuts contain mostly unsaturated fat. This type of fat is associated with protection against many different diseases, such as heart disease (3).
The calorie and fat contents per one-ounce (28-gram) serving of some commonly eaten nuts are shown below:
- Walnuts: 183 calories and 18 grams of fat (4)
- Brazil nuts: 184 calories and 19 grams of fat (5)
- Almonds: 161 calories and 14 grams of fat (6)
- Pistachios: 156 calories and 12 grams of fat (7)
- Cashews: 155 calories and 12 grams fat (8)
Because they are high in fat and calories, many people assume that adding nuts to their diet will lead to weight gain.
However, as discussed below, scientific studies do not support this.
Summary: Nuts are high in calories since they are high in fat, a concentrated source of energy. Even small portions are high in fat and calories.
Regularly Eating Nuts Is Not Linked to Weight Gain
For example, one study looked at the diets of 8,865 men and women over 28 months.
It found that those who ate two or more portions of nuts a week had a 31% lower risk of weight gain, compared to those who never or rarely ate them (10).
Also, a review of 36 studies found that regularly consuming nuts was not linked to an increase in weight, body mass index (BMI) or waist size (14).
However, any increase in weight was very small, much lower than expected and tended to be insignificant in the long term.
Summary: Studies have found that eating nuts regularly does not promote weight gain, regardless of whether people follow a strict diet or eat as they please. In some cases, they protect against weight gain.
Eating Nuts May Even Boost Weight Loss
It’s not clear why this is,…