In western societies, nuts were quite recently considered to be high fat and therefore unhealthy foods. However, this perception has changed over the past decade. It has now been recognized that nuts have a healthy fatty acid profile and that nut consumption has been associated with reduced BMI. Nuts are also advocated to maintain healthy weight loss! This is because of the metabolic benefits of nuts. The metabolic benefits of nuts stem from their macro- and micronutrient profile. Nuts are low in saturated fat and recognized as a rich source of ‘healthy’ fats (mono- and polyunsaturated fatty acids) as well as vegetable protein, fiber, phytosterols, polyphenols, vitamins and minerals.
Evidence suggests that the macronutrient profile of nuts are responsible for their “heart healthy” effect. While nuts are nutrient dense foods and there is a fear of increased energy intake with nut consumption, nut consumption has been associated with lower BMI. The addition of nuts to the diet, in moderation, may therefore, enhance palatability and nutrient quality of the diet without posing a threat for weight gain.