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The 6 Best Nuts for Weight Loss

Many people avoid nuts when they’re trying to shed pounds because nuts can contribute a lot of calories and fat in small amounts. However, when added to your diet mindfully, consuming nuts can be a great way to support healthy weight loss.

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Nuts are nutritional powerhouses, offering healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals, as well as protein and fiber to curb appetite.

Research shows that despite their high-calorie count, nut consumption is inversely related to weight gain. In fact, eating nuts has been shown to be anything but an obstacle when it comes to achieving healthy weight loss goals[*].

This may be due to a variety of mechanisms, such as improving satiety and increasing energy expenditure[*].

The Health Benefits of Eating Nuts

Nut consumption is indisputably beneficial for weight loss, but that’s not where the health benefits stop.

Some other benefits of nut consumption include[*][*][*]:

  • Reduces high blood pressure
  • Supports the management of type 2 diabetes
  • Lowers triglyceride levels
  • Lowers high LDL “bad” cholesterol levels
  • Improves the health of the lining of your arteries
  • Reduces the risk of developing blood clots
  • Helps meet your protein needs from plant-based sources

Below are six of the best nuts for weight loss that also support your overall health.

walnuts

1. Walnuts

Walnuts make an excellent low-carb, high protein, fat-fighting snack. The secret behind walnuts’ fat-burning qualities comes from the type of fat they contain.

Walnuts are an excellent plant-based source of omega-3 fatty acids. In fact, 13 of the total 18 grams of fat per serving comes from omega-3s — about 72% of the fat[*].

Unfortunately, the Western diet is rich in omega-6 fatty acids, which can be pro-inflammatory, but lacking in beneficial omega-3s. It’s believed that our ancestors consumed a diet that contained close to a 1:1 ratio of these two fats, whereas today, it’s closer to 15:1[*].

When you get enough omega-3s, it can support healthy inflammation levels and be a positive factor in reaching your weight loss goals.

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In particular, omega-3 fat intake is associated with a loss of abdominal fat. Having more abdominal fat is associated with metabolic conditions like heart disease and metabolic syndrome, so getting your omega-3s could do more than helping you shed extra weight[*][*].

Nutrition Facts

One ounce of walnuts (¼ cup) has[*]:

  • 185 calories
  • 18.5 grams of fat
  • 4.3 grams of protein
  • 3.9 grams of carbohydrates
  • 1.9 grams of fiber
  • 2 grams of net carbs

How to Enjoy Them

You can eat walnuts straight up as a healthy snack or sprinkle pulverized walnuts over low-carb dishes such as pasta or zucchini noodles. Another idea would be to use the powder to make a non-dairy parmesan.

brazil nuts

2. Brazil Nuts

Brazil nuts are commonly found in trail mix. Although you may not think of snacking on Brazil nuts alone, they’re a fantastic option if you want to keep your metabolism on point.

Among the nutrients contained in nuts, Brazil nuts have high amounts of selenium. With 544 grams of selenium per one-ounce serving, you’ll be packing in 989% of your daily needs with just six nuts[*].

Selenium plays a critical role in reproduction, DNA synthesis, and more, but when it comes to metabolism, selenium is crucial for thyroid function[*]. Your thyroid is the gland in your body that keeps your metabolism humming, and many people find that when their thyroid is off, rapid weight gain often follows.

Since your thyroid is so dependent on selenium, making sure you get enough of this nutrient in your diet is essential, and brazil nuts are one way to do so[*].

Nutrition Facts

In one ounce of Brazil nuts (6 nuts), you get[*]:

  • 187 calories
  • 19 grams of fat
  • 4 grams of protein
  • 3.3 grams of carbohydrates
  • 2.2 grams of fiber
  • 1 gram of net carb

How to Enjoy Them

Brazil nuts are frequently enjoyed simply on their own. Because of their naturally high selenium content, it’s important not to go overboard. You can meet your selenium requirements, while also supporting healthy weight loss goals with just one a day.

almonds

3. Almonds

Almonds are high in protein, magnesium, and vitamin E, which support overall health and weight loss.

In one ounce of almonds, you’ll get 19% of your daily magnesium and 45% of your daily vitamin E. Vitamin E is crucial for antioxidant protection, while magnesium may directly impact weight loss by supporting sleep and improving insulin response[*][*].

Sleep is vital to weight loss, and imbalanced insulin and glucose can lead to fat storage instead of fat-burning[*].

Plus, research shows that adding almonds to your diet in place of other carbohydrates can boost weight loss up to 62%[*].

Nutrition Facts

One ounce of almonds (around 23 nuts) provides[*]:

  • 164 calories
  • 14.2 grams of fat
  • 6 grams of protein
  • 6 grams of carbohydrates
  • 3.5 grams of fiber
  • 2.5 grams of net carbs

How to Enjoy Them

Almonds are delicious when lightly toasted and tossed into a bed of wilted greens, or eaten on their own as part of a homemade trail mix. You can pulverize almonds into almond flour to add protein and healthy fats to low-carb baked recipes like pancakes or muffins. Almonds can even be added to smoothies or blended into almond butter.

macadamia nuts

4. Macadamia Nuts

Macadamia nuts make delicious nut butter and can add taste and texture to almost any snack or dessert.

With only 2.5 grams of net carbs per serving and over 21 grams of fat, macadamias are one of the most popular keto-friendly nuts.

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And it’s not just the amount of fat in macadamias but the type of fat that makes them special. Macadamias come packed with monounsaturated fat (MUFAs).

Research shows that MUFAs help increase post-meal fat burning. Furthermore, MUFAs have a thermogenic effect, meaning they boost your metabolic rate. Studies show that even when people eat as much and as often as they want, MUFAs still help them lose weight[*].

Nutrition Facts

One ounce of macadamia nuts (about 10-12 nuts), provides[*]:

  • 204 calories
  • 21.5 grams of fat
  • 2 grams of protein
  • 4 grams of carbohydrates
  • 2.5 grams of fiber
  • 2.5 grams of net carbs

How to Enjoy Them

Macadamias have a more neutral flavor than many other nuts, making them a great side to just about any dish. They work well in desserts, too, such as homemade chocolate-covered treats.

cashew

5. Cashews

While cashews may be a little higher in carbs, they’re also high in protein. If you’re following keto, the best way to enjoy cashews is by adding them into a meal or having them with other lower-carb options to balance it out.

Plus, cashews offer a unique nutrient that is crucial for fat burning — copper. In just one ounce of cashews, you can meet 70% of your daily copper needs, which means even if you just enjoy a few of these nuts here and there, they’ll be contributing to your copper stores[*].

Research shows that copper is a vital element in the breakdown of fat cells and is necessary for your body to be able to use fat cells for energy. The more copper, the more fat is able to break down[*].

Nutrition Facts

In one ounce of cashews (around 16-18 nuts), you get[*]:

  • 157 calories
  • 12.4 grams of fat
  • 5 grams of protein
  • 8.5 grams of carbohydrates
  • 1 gram of fiber
  • 7.5 gram of net carbs

How to Enjoy Them

Cashews have a naturally smooth texture, making them easy to blend into recipes and make cashew cream for things like soups and sauces. Add cashews to smoothies, toss them into a stir fry, or gently blend them into a cashew butter spread.

hazelnuts

6. Hazelnuts

Hazelnuts are a favorite in the dessert world. These small, round nuts are packed with flavor and pair well with chocolate.

Just like cashews, hazelnuts offer a significant amount of copper, with one ounce contributing about 25% of your daily copper needs.

Furthermore, hazelnuts are rich in the trace mineral manganese, with 70% of your daily needs met in just one ounce[*].

Manganese supports weight loss through a handful of mechanisms. First, manganese is an essential nutrient for thyroid function; without it, you wouldn’t be able to produce the thyroid hormone thyroxin, which plays a role in metabolism, weight, and appetite[*].

Second, due to its role as a cofactor for several different classes of enzymes, manganese is vital for the metabolism of nutrients in your body. It helps with the breakdown of nutrients so that your body can use them to fuel metabolism, and it’s essential for energy production[*].

And finally, manganese is an important component of blood sugar regulation. It’s heavily concentrated in the pancreas and plays a role in insulin production, a critical aspect of your ability to use glucose. Low manganese is often found in people with diabetes, and animal research suggests that dietary manganese can protect against diabetes[*].

Nutrition Facts

In one ounce of hazelnuts (around 21 whole nuts) you get[*]:

  • 178 calories
  • 17 grams of fat
  • 4.2 grams of protein
  • 4.7 grams of carbohydrates
  • 2.7 gram of fiber
  • 2 grams of net carbs

How to Enjoy Them

Once you remove the shells and skin from hazelnuts, you can eat them as-is or roast them in the oven to bring out more flavor. Add them to things like fat bombs oatmeal and salads, or even blend them into a spread for veggies like celery sticks for a low-carb snack.

The Worst Nuts for Weight Loss

When your goal is weight loss, it’s also helpful to know which nuts to avoid. Most nuts, in their raw form, can be a good addition to a weight loss regimen. However, keep in mind that packaged nuts with added sugars and other food additives increase your blood glucose levels and affect your health.

Avoid these types of nuts for weight loss:

  • Honey-roasted nuts
  • Sweet and salty nut mixes
  • Salted caramel nuts
  • Chocolate-covered nuts
  • Salt and pepper nuts

Whenever possible, choose raw or lightly roasted nuts. This helps minimize the amount of or avoid commercial vegetable oils, sugar, and other extra ingredients. The best approach to choosing nuts for weight loss goals is to look at the nutrition facts panel and ingredients list on any packaged nuts.

Nut and Nut Butter Recipes

If you’re looking for ways to add more nuts to your diet, here are some delicious recipes.

Chocolate Covered Macadamia Nuts

If you’re thinking of making a delicious dessert out of macadamia nuts, you can coat them in dark chocolate. A ¼ cup serving of these delicious chocolate-covered macadamia nuts contains only 2 grams of net carbs and 29 grams of healthy fats.

Perfect Keto Nut Butter Cookies

Perfect Keto Nut Butter is a combination of macadamia nuts, almonds, cashews, coconuts, and MCTs. You can enjoy this nutrient-rich nut butter alone, on a slice of keto bread, or mix it up with some monk fruit, egg, and almond flour and make yourself some keto nut butter cookies.

Chocolate Nut Smoothie Bowl

If you’re a smoothie lover, this chocolate nut smoothie bowl is an excellent way to add more nuts into your diet. The recipe calls for macadamia nuts, but you can feel free to mix it up with any of your favorites — walnuts and cashews make great stand-ins.

Nut Butter Popsicles

Conventional popsicles are mostly made of frozen sugar. However, that’s not the case with these rich and creamy nut butter popsicles. The recipe uses Perfect Keto Nut Butter, but if you don’t have any on hand, feel free to use almond butter, cashew butter, or macadamia nut butter.

Keto Buckeyes

If you’re craving candy, consider making these no-bake keto buckeyes that can be ready in just 20 minutes. Although this recipe calls for almonds, you can take your pick of nuts and nut butter and mix them up if you want.

Takeaways

A handful of nuts not only offers a quick and nutritious snack but can also help you lose weight healthily. Nuts support heart health and contain high amounts of healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals — making them an important addition to a well-rounded keto diet.

Plus, research shows that nuts can enhance satiety, reduce fat, improve metabolism, and have an overall beneficial impact on body weight and obesity. While there are many different types of nuts, some of the healthiest options for weight loss include almonds, macadamias, cashews, Brazil nuts, and walnuts.

If you’re looking for superfoods that are packed with unsaturated fats, nuts are one of the most accessible options out there, whether weight loss is your primary goal or not.

GET RESULTS IN 30 DAYS

Join 90k+ people who are losing weight with Keto Kickstart, our doctor-developed program designed to give you real weight loss results.

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