Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Nuts and Yoghurt help weight loss

Harvard researchers published their findings June 23 in the New England Journal of Medicine.
What caught people’s attention was the fact that yogurt and nuts, not fruits and vegetables, were the two foods with the strongest relationship to weight loss. Let’s take a look at why that might be.
Dieting aside, yogurt has a lot going for it. It provides calcium and protein along with great flavor. With its creamy taste and higher protein content, Greek yogurt is my favorite.
Yogurt also contains probiotics, helpful bacteria that live in the colon and ease symptoms of antibiotic-associated diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome and childhood eczema and can speed recovery from some intestinal infections.
Previous research has shown that there is a difference between the gut bacteria in lean and obese people, suggesting a cause-and-effect link. Yogurt has the right bacteria.
In the Harvard analysis, the greatest decrease in weight was associated with an increase in servings of nuts. The study did not distinguish by type, but all nuts are rich in fiber, phytonutrients, protein and antioxidants. Walnuts are especially high in omega 3 fatty acids, almonds are loaded with vitamin E and pistachios provide leutin and zeazanthin.
The protein and fiber in nuts increases feelings of satiety and delays gastric emptying — two actions that lead to eating less. This is not license to sit by the nut bowl and eat away. A 1-ounce serving of walnuts, which is about 14 halves, has 190 calories, 4 grams of protein and 2 grams of fiber.
The key, as always, is portion control. Sprinkle walnuts on a salad, stir almonds into your oatmeal, coat tofu in pistachios or mix this trio of nuts into Greek yogurt. Go nuts — in moderation.
Sheah Rarback is a registered dietitian on the faculty of the University of Miami Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine.

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