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Is Avoiding Sweets Driving You Nuts? Put the Nuts to Work for You

You can overcome the desires of your sweet-tooth by incorporating some intelligent snacking. Sometimes dieting and weight control can drive you nuts -- well, we're going to put those nuts to work for us.

Many people believe that nuts are fattening and should be avoided if you are trying to lose weight and/or fat. The fact of the matter is that nuts -- in moderation -- can be a healthy and nutritious part of your daily diet, even to the point where they can help you to lose weight.

Nuts offer protein, fiber and minerals such as copper and magnesium, but remember, only one-third cup of nuts can contain around 270 calories! While nuts are high in calories and fat (the reason for moderation), the fact is that the fat is the "good type" and does not plaque your arteries.

According to the website Vegetarian Nutrition Info published by the Nutrition Department at Andrews University, nuts can assist in lowering blood cholesterol and preventing diabetes. Studies reported by their website came to the following conclusions:

- "Peanuts, or peanut butter, as part of a moderate fat diet produced a 14 percent drop in LDL cholesterol and a 13 percent drop in triglyceride levels in persons with normal blood cholesterol levels after one month. In another study, 1-2 ozs of peanuts a day for 6 months lowered the LDL cholesterol levels of postmenopausal women by 12 percent."

- "In the Nurses' Health Study, consuming nuts 1 to 4 times a week was associated with a 16% reduction in the risk of type 2 diabetes. Eating nuts 5 or more times a week reduced the risk of diabetes by 27 percent. Consuming peanut butter 5 or more times a week, reduced the risk by 21 percent."

I know, I know... enough of the health stuff... you want to know how nuts can help you battle the bulge. It seems that those nutty researchers at Purdue University took a break from basketball long enough to learn that people were able to lose weight by adding almonds to a calorie-controlled eating plan.

While the reasons are unclear, a few theories are "pecan" up over the top. The first one says that the substantial nature of nuts helps to promote a feeling of fullness, or satiety (think satisfaction), thereby allowing you to stop eating sooner. Another theory says that the protein found in nuts helps to burn more calories while you digest your food.

Whatever the reason, the bottom line is that we fat-fighters have to give up a lot, but nuts don't seem to be one of them! Nuts, a healthy calorie-controlled diet, and moderate exercise can lead to a lighter you.

Not only that, researchers have found that nuts have anti-cancer properties, and researchers have found a negative correlation between the consumption of nuts and coronary heart disease (that is -- the more days per week a reasonable amount of nuts were consumed, the LESS likely you are to suffer from heart disease or heart attack.)

Do your friends think you're a little nutty?? Tell them that it's okay, it's just a part of your plan for a healthier you!

References:
http://win.niddk.nih.gov/index.htm The Weight-control Information Network,
http://www.eatright.org American Dietetic Association,
http://www.vegetarian-nutrition.info Andrews University, Nutrition Department

Michael Callen is the author of the Weekly Weightloss Tips Newsletter (ccwebgroup.com/tips) and the Chief Technology Officer for WellnessPartners.com, an online retailer of dozens of health and wellness products such as conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), r+ alpha lipoic acid (R+ ALA), and Green Tea Extract.

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