Finally there’s a solution to the mystery of why nuts don’t seem to make people gain weight. It appears to be a combination of factors including a boost to our metabolism, which results in us burning more of our own fat stores.
Yes, when we eat nuts we might lose some fat in our feces and have our appetite suppressed, but studies suggest that this just accounts for about 70% of the disappeared calories in nuts. Unless all the calories are accounted for then there should still be weight gain after nut consumption, especially in the long term, but that’s not what the studies showed. So what happens to the last 30%?
Nuts appear to boost our metabolism, meaning when we eat nuts we burn more of our own fat to compensate. And indeed, in this study those on the control diet were burning about 20 grams of fat overnight within their bodies on average. Not bad, that’s like burning off 5 pats of butter. But the walnut group, eating the same number of calories the same amount of fat, same everything, burned more like 31 grams of fat a day—7 or 8 pats of butter worth. Not too shabby, or should I say, flabby.
So the hard to crack nut of a mystery appears to have been solved, of all the calories you eat in nuts, about 70% of them apparently disappear through dietary compensation mechanisms, 10% are flushed away, and 20% may be lost due to increased fat burn, leaving us with no calories to pack on any pounds; just a whopping load of nutrition and our risk of dying from heart disease cut in half.
To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by Kerry Skinner.
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This is the fifth of a seven-part video series on the fascinating phenomenon of Solving the Mystery of the Missing Calories. In other words, why don't nuts make us fat? I review the balance of evidence in Nuts and Obesity: The Weight of Evidence and introduced two theories on Monday, both of which were not well supported by a study on peanut butter I detailed in Tuesday'sTesting the Pistachio Principle. Yesterday's video-of-the-day Testing the Dietary Compensation Theory described an elegant study using walnut smoothies that explained the appetite suppression piece. So if the mystery is now solved, what are the last two videos about? Well today we learned that nuts may boost fat burning in the body, but how? Maybe it's the arginine; maybe it's the flavonoids. Stay tuned! If you haven't yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here.