Walnuts and other nuts are often linked to weight gain, but a new study busts the myth of diet control food - the widespread belief that fats in nut cause weight gain. The findings of the new study suggest that a diet of walnuts may not cause weight gain or highten the risk of obesity among adults. The study was conducted on healthy elders whose daily diet contain nearly 300 calories of walnuts. During the study, healthy elders within the age group of 69 years and 67 per cent women were assigned to walnut or control diets. But the walnut rich diet did not show any negative effects on the body weight and composition of the healthy elders.
How nuts can affect the independently living, predominantly healthy, elderly people
The study, published in the journal Nutrients, was carried out by researchers at Loma Linda University (LLU) in the US.
The findings debunk the myth about diet control food that nuts cause weight gain.
"There is a widespread fallacy that the fats in nut cause weight gain, and therefore could lead to issues such as obesity, or other weight-related health issues such as heart disease or diabetes," said Edward Bitok, an assistant professor at Loma Linda University.
The study suggests nuts are a healthful snack - when after two years, no significant differences were noticed between the control and walnut groups regarding body weight or body fat, researchers said.
"Because of their high energy content, many people believed the misconception that nuts cause unwanted weight gain, and avoid them altogether," Bitok said.
How walnuts play a part in healthy ageing?
The study was an extension of the Walnuts and Healthy Aging Study, the first large study to test if walnuts play a part in healthy ageing.
"This study helps us understand more about good fats versus bad fats and disproves the idea that the fats in nuts are unhealthy and cause weight-gain," he said.
The WAHA study tested how daily consumption of walnuts was associated with age-related cognitive decline and macular degeneration in seniors.
More findings about Walnuts
Another study says that eating a handful of nuts, including walnuts, on a daily basis may significantly improve the quality and function of human sperm. Researchers from Rovira i Virgili University in Spain in its trial study found that nuts improve sperm count, vitality, motility and morphology (shape).
“These were consistent with improvements found in other recent studies with diets rich in omega-3, antioxidants (eg, vitamin C and E, selenium and zinc), and folate,” the researchers said in the 14-week study which provided 119 healthy young men aged 18-35 with their usual western-style diet supplemented with 60 grammes per day of mixed almonds, hazelnuts and walnuts, or their usual western-style diet without nuts.
(With inputs from agencies)