When it comes to weight loss hacks, there is a constant war over what is considered healthy and unhealthy -- don't eat too much of this or that; avoid this food altogether. But, there is one trick that's starting to stick within the science community: Go nuts for weight loss. Walnuts, to be specific.
Walnuts contain healthy omega-3 fatty acids that are linked to reduced risk of obesity and diabetes. Omega-3 fatty acids are essential fats that the body cannot produce itself. And now, the latest findings show how eating foods high in these polyunsaturated fats, such as walnuts, may curb overeating.
A recent study published in the journal Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism was done on nine hospitalized patients with obesity.
Over the course of five consecutive days, the obese patients were asked to drink one of two smoothies: one contained 48 grams of walnuts (315 calories), the other a placebo smoothie identical in taste and calorie content. After a month of a "wash-out" period, where patients resumed their regular diet, they returned to a second five-day trial where placebo drinkers received a walnut smoothie, and vice versa.
Researchers carefully monitored brain exams of each patient, while they were looking at pictures of fatty foods, healthy foods and neutral pictures of rocks and trees.
They concluded that when the patients looked at pictures of high-fat foods, the part of the brain responsible for appetite and impulse control, the insula, showed increased activation among those who drank the walnut smoothie, but not among the placebo drinkers.
With all the healthy weight loss tips available out there, lead author, Olivia M. Farr, of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, puts her two cents in on what really works for people trying to lose weight: "Walnuts can alter the way our brains view food and impact our appetites. Our results confirm the current recommendations to include walnuts as part of a healthy diet."
Basically, in a nutshell, a few walnuts a day keeps the doctor (and weight) away.