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If you think a handful of nuts are only useful as a side to your large wine, (or as the source of a rudimentary chortle), then you may be a little misinformed.

That’s according to a study published in the journal Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism, which details that walnuts, in particular, contain an appetite-suppressing ingredient, helping you feel satiated for longer — a key factor when it comes to weight loss. Which, you’ll agree, makes nuts the ideal post-gym scran and the ultimate snack.

So, are nuts now the life-saving snack du jour? Or are they overshadowed by your fruity five-a-day? WH weighed up the two to see what you should be munching. Chew on this.

Their USP

Fruit

Packed into whole fruit, fibre slows the release of sugar into your bloodstream, avoiding the spikes that are associated with an increased risk of diabetes (Jo Travers, TheLondonNutritionist.co.uk)

Nuts

Poly- and monounsaturated fats award nuts their position in the Mediterranean diet. These reduce levels of bad cholesterol to protect against heart disease and strokes.

Read on: our of 1,700 snack bars a nutritionist would eat these 6

Ups & Downs

Fruit

+ Boosts your porridge

– Quick to perish

+ Wide variety

– Stains clothes

Nuts

+ Protein Source

– Can be pricey

+ Great on toast

– Often salted

Things you shouldn’t ignore 

Fruit

There’s 21g of sugar in a glass of orange juice. Fibre in whole fruit is removed by juicing, intensifying the blood-sugar spikes that lead to insulin resistance or weight gain.

Nuts

But, there’s 580kcal in a 100g bag of almonds. That’s double the calories of a McDonald’s cheeseburger with roughly four times the fat. You can have too much of a good thing.

Science-backed benefits

Fruit

A grapefruit can help combat cancer, reduce heart disease risk and slow skin ageing.

Nuts

Pistachios have the power to support digestion, reduce bad LDL cholesterol and improve circulation.

Which keeps you fuller for longer?

Fruit

Fructose, the sugar in fruit, doesn’t raise levels of appetite-suppressing hormones, making second helpings hard to resist.

Nuts

The act of unshelling disrupts mindless snacking, reducing calorie intake by 59%. Shun salty bar snacks for raw varieties.

The verdict: Nuts win!

While the spectre of sugar has been overplayed with regard to whole fruit, they’re no match for nuts’ healthy fats. Curbing cravings, supporting muscle growth and protecting your heart, they’re the most rewarding snack to squirrel away in your desk drawer.

This article was first published on menshealth.co.uk

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