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5 Best Nuts for Weight Loss

Nuts are the ultimate health food. High in protein, rich in healthy fats, and low in simple carbohydrates, nuts stimulate your body to burn excess fat and shed extra pounds. Plus, they make an incredibly versatile addition to your diet. Nuts are a handy snack to stash in your purse, taste great atop a mixed salad, and can be added to your favorite smoothie recipe for a protein boost.

When eating nuts for weight loss, remember to keep calories in mind. Nuts are an incredibly energy dense food, meaning that they pack a lot of nutrients into a relatively small size. Although this means that you get a lot of nutritional benefit from nuts, it also means that eating a huge serving of nuts could add extra calories to your diet (Mayo Clinic, 2015).

In spite of this, nuts have been scientifically proven to help you shed pounds. In a review of scientific literature on the topic, researchers found that eating nuts is associated with greater weight loss, better diet compliance, and improved satiety (Mattes, Kris-Etherton, & Foster, 2008). Choose one of these nuts for weight loss success.

Almonds for Weight Loss

Almonds are considered one of nature’s “superfoods” for their rich content of protein, antioxidants, and heart-healthy fats. This makes them an excellent addition to your weight loss diet.

In fact, in a study of 65 overweight or obese adults, eating a diet high in almonds was associated with greater weight loss, decreased waist circumference, lower body fat, and reduced systolic blood pressure (Wein et al., 2003). These benefits are thought to be due to almonds’ high content of monounsaturated fats. Out of the 11 grams of fat in a serving of almonds, 7 grams are from these beneficial monounsaturated fatty acids (WH Foods, 2015).

Cashews for Weight Loss

Light in color and delicate in taste, cashew nuts have a unique curved shape. One serving of these nuts (about 16 to 18 nuts) contains 13 grams of fat and 5 grams of protein (MacMillan, 2015). Plus, cashews are an excellent source of magnesium, with a 100-gram serving (about an ounce) providing 73% of your recommended daily value of magnesium (Nutrition and You, 2015).

Magnesium is essential for regulating the metabolism of fat and carbohydrates (Volpe, 2014), which may help you lose weight. In addition to eating raw cashews, spreading cashew butter on whole-wheat toast is a great way to boost your consumption of these healthy nuts.

Brazil Nuts for Weight Loss

Large Brazil nuts have a unique texture and flavor that makes them a favorite of many. These nuts contain beneficial palmitoleic acid and oleic acid, which promote healthy cholesterol levels (Nutrition and You, 2015). Plus, Brazil nuts are one of the best known sources of the trace mineral selenium. Each serving of Brazil nuts contains more than 100% of your recommended daily intake of selenium, which acts as an antioxidant that may boost your immune functioning (National Institutes of Health, 2016).

Walnuts for Weight Loss

Like all nuts, walnuts are high in heart-healthy unsaturated fats. However, walnuts are unique in that they contain high levels of polyunsaturated fats (other nuts typically contain high amounts of monounsaturated fats). There are several types of polyunsaturated fats; the form found primarily in plant foods is known as alpha-linolenic acid, or ALA. ALA has been shown to decrease risk of cardiovascular disease and other chronic conditions (Erlich, 2014). It may also stimulate your body to lose weight faster.

Walnuts contain 2.5 grams of ALA per serving, making them a rich source of this beneficial fatty acid. In a recent study of 245 women, a walnut-rich diet was associated with greater weight loss, lower levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol, and higher levels of “good” HDL cholesterol (Le et al., 2016). This suggests that eating a handful of walnuts every day could help to stimulate fat loss and promote a healthy body weight.

Pistachios for Weight Loss

The delicate green color and unique flavor of pistachios make them a favorite to toss into smoothies, to add to baked goods, or to simply eat as a snack. Each one-ounce serving of pistachios contains 3 grams of dietary fiber, or 12% of your recommended daily intake (Self Nutrition Data, 2015).

Getting enough dietary fiber helps your body feel fuller, sending signals to your brain that prevent you from experiencing intense food cravings. This can help you lose weight and burn more fat. In a recent scientific study, a pistachio-rich diet was associated with significantly smaller waist size, a sign that participants on the high-pistachio diet dropped excess belly fat (Girdwain, 2014).

Nutty Recipes from Nuts.com!

The following recipes are packed with nuts to help you get the most of your favorite snack foods. Try these recipes today and add your favorites to your regular rotation!

Banana Bread {gluten-free}

Banana Bread Recipe {gluten-free}

Walnuts add more than just a hearty crunch to this delectable confection. Enjoy the health benefits of ALA and the satiety of protein that these nuts offer in each sweet, fluffy bite. Grab a slice for breakfast, as a snack, or even dessert!
Ingredients: Overripe bananas, eggs, coconut oil, applesauce, almond milk, honey, vanilla extract, brown rice flour, coconut flour, walnuts, gluten-free rolled oats, baking soda, baking powder.
Total Time: 1 hour | Yield: 12 80-gram servings

Moringa Oatmeal

Moringa Oatmeal Recipe

Pistachios act as a terrific topping on this hot cereal and fit the aesthetic of the healthful moringa blend. Enjoy all the benefits this oatmeal has to offer any day of the week with a brief prep time of 10 minutes!
Ingredients: Gluten-free rolled oats, almond milk, agave or maple syrup, vanilla extract, moringa powder, pistachios, dried mulberries, unsweetened shredded coconut, chia seeds.
Total Time: 10 minutes | Yield: 4 324-gram servings

Almond Butter

Almond Butter Recipe

There’s no end to the possibilities with almond butter: sandwiches, cakes, hearty marinades for savory dishes, and much more can be made with this delectable spread. Enjoy a fresh batch with this easy to follow recipe!
Ingredients: Almonds, coconut oil, maple syrup, salt
Total Time: 45 minutes | Yield: 2 cups

No-Bake Granola Bars {gluten-free, vegan}

No-Bake Granola Bars Recipe {gluten-free, vegan}

For a nutritious snack that’s both delicious and convenient, these no-bake granola bars are the perfect collation to bring to any destination. Walnuts and pistachios are just two of the healthful components of this wholesome bar, which includes seeds, fruits and more.
Ingredients: Gluten-free rolled oats, peanut butter, dried tart cherries, pistachios, flaxseed meal, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, agave syrup. unsweetened applesauce, melted cacao nibs or dark chocolate.
Total Time: 15 minutes | Yield: 8 - 10 servings

No-Bake Pistachio Cookies

No-Bake Pistachio Cookies Recipe {gluten-free, vegan}

Occasional indulgence is to be expected with any endeavor- but, when you opt for a sweet, be sure it’s packed with the nutritive value of pistachios. These palatable cookies offer a sweet savor that is considerably more wholesome than your typical confection. Try one with a cool glass of almond milk when your sweet tooth beckons.
Ingredients: Pistachios, unsweetened shredded coconut, gluten-free rolled oats, maple syrup, moringa powder, water, vanilla extract, cashews, almond butter, vanilla, coconut oil.
Total Time: 20 minutes | Yield: 16 cookies

Gluten-Free Almond Cake

Gluten-Free Almond Cake Recipe

Another confection that includes a healthy helping of nuts, this almond cake utilizes almond milk, almond flour, and sliced almonds for a triple helping of the delectable collation. Be sure to watch your portions when eating, as it’s scrumptious savor will have you reaching for a second slice!
Ingredients: Eggs, almond milk, unrefined sugar, almond flour, coconut flour, coconut oil, baking powder, baking soda, vanilla extract, sliced almonds.
Total Time: 15 minutes | Yield: 8 servings

Fat Burning Nuts

These products offer versatile ways to enjoy the nuts listed above. For more options, you can visit our full page for almonds, cashews, brazil nuts, walnuts, or pistachios.

References

Erlich, S.D. (2014). Alpha-linolenic acid. University of Maryland Medical Center. Retrieved from http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/supplement/alphalinolenic-acid

Girdwain, J. (2014). Pistachios target belly fat. Prevention. Retrieved from http://www.prevention.com/food/healthy-eating-tips/pistachios-target-belly-fat

Le, T., et al. (2016). Effects of diet composition and insulin resistance on plasma lipid levels in a weight loss intervention in women. Journal of the American Heart Association. Retrieved from http://jaha.ahajournals.org/content/5/1/e002771.abstract

MacMillan, A. (2015). Best and worst nuts for your health. Health. Retrieved from http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20585485,00.html

Mattes, R.D., Kris-Etherton, P.M., & Foster, G.D. (2008). Impact of peanuts and tree nuts on body weight and healthy weight loss in adults. Journal of Nutrition, 138(9), 1741-1745. Retrieved from http://jn.nutrition.org/content/138/9/1741S.short

Mayo Clinic (2015). Weight loss: feel full on fewer calories. Retrieved from http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/weight-loss/in-depth/weight-loss/art-20044318

Mercola (2015). What are the healthiest nuts and seeds? Retrieved from http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2015/10/19/best-nuts-seeds.aspx

National Institutes of Health. (2016, February 11). Office of Dietary Supplements - Dietary Supplement Fact Sheet: Selenium. Retrieved July 19, 2016, from https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Selenium-HealthProfessional/

Nutrition and You (2015). Brazil nuts. Retrieved from http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/brazil-nuts.html

Nutrition and You (2015). Cashew nuts. Retrieved from http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/cashew_nut.html

Self Nutrition Data (2015). Pistachios. Retrieved from http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/nut-and-seed-products/3136/2

Volpe, S.L. (2014). Magnesium. Linus Pauling Institute. Retrieved from http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/minerals/magnesium

Wein, M.A., et al. (2003). Almonds vs complex carbohydrates in a weight reduction program. International Journal of Obesity, 27, 1365-1372.

WH Foods (2014). Almonds. Retrieved from http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=20