Weight loss tip: Eat More Walnuts

Weight Loss Tip 105 - Eat More WalnutsWeight Loss Tip 105 - Eat More Walnuts

 A handful of walnuts may help with losing weight

Weight Loss Tip 105 - Eat More Walnuts

Weight Loss Tip 105 – Eat More Walnuts



I know what you are thinking.  Walnuts are high in fat and fat makes you fat.  Although, it would seem that since walnuts are high in fat and calories that they cause weight gain and would be of little help with weight loss.   The statement is patently false.  Forget depriving yourself of these babies.  You do not need to become a rabbit and eat only vegetables and salads. New research points to support and confirm the mechanism by which walnuts may help with losing weight.  

Previous studies have looked at this question.  This new study, published in American Society for Nutrition, appears to show a mechanism for the results of the prior studies1.  The study was conducted to determine the metabolizable energy of walnuts when consumed as part of a typical American diet.  The subject was a group of eighteen healthy adults with an average age of 53 years and a body mass index of 28.8 kg/m2.   The subjects participated in a randomized study with 2 treatment periods of 3 weeks per period.  The diet in the study was a fully controlled dietary feeding intervention.   The same base diet was consumed during each treatment period.   The base diet was unsupplemented during one feeding period and supplemented with 42 g walnuts per day during the other feeding period.  Base diet foods were reduced in equal proportions during the walnut period to achieve isocaloric food intake during the two periods.  The researchers collected stool and urine to measure energy excretion during both periods.  The researchers found that a single 28 gram serving of walnuts contained 146 kcal (5.22 kcal/g), 39 kcal/serving less than the calculated value of 185 kcal/serving and the caloric content was 21% less than that expected when walnuts are eaten.  In other words, walnuts increased the caloric density of the subjects stool.   

Multiple studies have shown that walnuts added to a calorie-reduced diet assists with weight loss2,3,4,5.  

The bottom line:  Eating a diet rich in walnuts and olive oil can lead to the same amount of weight loss as a lower fat, higher carbohydrate diet.I recommend that you consider having a serving a day.  I have written on walnuts, and weight loss in the past and the fact is that a serving of walnuts can help with weight loss.  


Baer DJ, Gebauer SK, Novotny JA. Walnuts Consumed by Healthy Adults Provide Less Available Energy than Predicted by the Atwater Factors. J. 2015;146(1):9-13. doi:10.3945/jn.115.217372
Mattes R, Kris-Etherton P, Foster G. Impact of peanuts and tree nuts on body weight and healthy weight loss in adults. J Nutr. 2008;138(9):1741S-1745S. [PubMed]
Sabaté J, Cordero-MacIntyre Z, Siapco G, Torabian S, Haddad E. Does regular walnut consumption lead to weight gain? B. 2005;94(05):859. doi:10.1079/bjn20051567
Brinkworth GD, Noakes M, Buckley JD, Keogh JB, Clifton PM. Long-term effects of a very-low-carbohydrate weight loss diet compared with an isocaloric low-fat diet after 12 mo. A. 2009;90(1):23-32. doi:10.3945/ajcn.2008.27326
McManus K, Antinoro L, Sacks F. A randomized controlled trial of a moderate-fat, low-energy diet compared with a low fat, low-energy diet for weight loss in overweight adults. International Journal of Obesity & Related Metabolic Disorders . http://web.a.ebscohost.com/abstract?direct=true&profile=ehost&scope=site&authtype=crawler&jrnl=03070565&AN=8853864&h=dSGxK7TGo2tbHX%2fePaaUShPmfhzLAYJ0tW2LuX55gyJGm9bCzZJUE3VsPtu3tzoe9ilYSt1rwa%2f%2fGFWycPW10w%3d%3d&crl=c&resultNs=AdminWebAuth&resultLocal=ErrCrlNotAuth&crlhashurl=login.aspx%3fdirect%3dtrue%26profile%3dehost%26scope%3dsite%26authtype%3dcrawler%26jrnl%3d03070565%26AN%3d8853864. Published October 2001. Accessed December 22, 2017.
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About the Author

I am a family physician who has served in the US Army. In 2016, I found myself overweight, out of shape, and unhealthy, so I made a change to improve my health. This blog is the chronology of my path to better health and what I have learned along the way.

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