This time of year can be uber stressful with midterms coming up, job pressures, relationship issues, you name it. The realization that school is in full swing has finally hit. Many of us are as busy as ever, including moi. And you know what that means: stress eating.
I’m going to be completely honest and admit that when I am stressed, I just want to EAT. Everything. As a nutritional sciences major, I can’t get away from thinking about food and studying it just makes me want to eat it more. Thankfully, as said nutrition major, I am also equipped with some pretty awesome information to prevent myself from becoming overweight. As a person who believes in walking the walk, not being overweight is a career decision for me as well as a health decision.
So what’s some of my stay-skinny secrets you ask?
Well my friends, one of my best secrets is eating nuts and seeds at least once per day. It might seem counterproductive to eat nuts and seeds, which are high in fat, to lose weight, yet studies show that nuts and seeds promote weight loss. Big time. Research on the issue shows when an equal number of carbohydrate calories are replaced with nuts and seeds, weight loss increases. Scientists from Purdue University did a thorough review of all the research studies that looked at nut intake and weight loss. Guess what? They found a surprising inverse association between nut intake and Body Mass Index. As a lover of almond butter and walnuts, this news could not thrill me more.
Not only did they find nuts were conducive to weight loss, they also found that nuts and seeds are a rich source of nutrients and protect the heart and blood vessels. So basically, in addition to keeping me skinny, my heart loves the stuff. For example, almonds have a potent antioxidant effect, which leads to decreases in levels of bad cholesterol, and help to keep our arteries clear of nasty buildup.
Walnuts, in fact, are a superpower food. Like all nuts, walnuts are rich in fiber, minerals, antioxidants, and monounsaturated fats, but walnuts stand out because of their distinctively high levels of ALA, an omega-3 fatty acid. Our brains are made of omega-3 fatty acids and because our bodies can’t make their own, we need to eat plenty of omega-3 fats to stay healthy (and smart!).
The nut awesomeness doesn’t stop there.
Are you ready for this??
Really, get ready…..
All the calories in nuts may not be bio-accessible, meaning that while all the heart/brain benefits are absorbed by our bodies, not all of the calories are. And I quote from the Purdue University study: “due to poor bioaccessibility, there is limited efficiency of energy absorption from nuts.” Our bodies love nuts. They clean our arteries, keep our hearts strong, our brains in top working order, and yet the calories in nuts are not well absorbed. That means you get all the nut goodness without all the nut not-so-goodness. Is this freakin’ awesome or what?!
So there you have it, one of my stay skinny secrets is to eat plenty of nuts and seeds. My stress level is going down just writing this (as I chow down on some naked almonds). Body fat, suck it; midterms, bring it!
Oh, and one last note. As is repeated often by health experts, everything in moderation. Please don’t use the information in this article as an excuse to go on a nut-eating binge. Two ounces per day is plenty.