Eating nuts and dried fruits are scientifically regarded as one of the healthiest ways to consume these nutritional powerhouses. Many contain protein, plant-based fats, fiber, minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants. The latter carry anti-inflammatory properties which combat the damage to skin cells by radicals, while the other properties help to lower cholesterol mitigating the risk of heart disease, improving blood vessel function, as well as that of muscles in joints.
Overall, nuts are powerful consumables that help a person be healthier, more energetic, and fuller, leading to eating fewer other foods. These benefits somewhat vary, however, based on the time of day when the nuts are consumed. This makes many wonder about what is the best time to eat nuts for weight loss. Scientifically backed evidence suggests that the maximum benefits one derives from eating nuts is when they are consumed in the mornings, though an argument could be made for eating certain types of nuts later in the day.
Those looking to improve their daily diet to allow for maximum help with weight loss should consume nuts in the morning. Since nuts are rich in nutrients and proteins, they yield the necessary energy boost to help us get started on our day, they infuse our bodies with essential minerals, vitamins, and healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Energy is what bodies need to power through the day, so nuts provide us those essentials without having to consume other, less nutritious foods.
Our digestive process is more active during our waking hours, and since nuts are rich in various plant-based fats, an element that while beneficial in some ways, also takes longer for the body to break down, eating nuts in the morning allows the body ample time to properly digest and process these nutrients. While the body is dormant, and all functions slow down, digestion is not as robust during the nighttime hours, the digestive system doesn’t have sufficient time to properly process these fats.
Therefore, consuming nuts in the morning keeps us feeling fuller, while still being supplied with a high dose of many nutrients we need as part of a balanced diet.
Many dieters are hesitant to consume nuts because of the fat content, believing that it counteracts their weight loss efforts. Certain nuts are indeed packed with calories, with a large handful delivering enough calories for 10 to 15% of the recommended calories for the day. Those who are trying to drive down their weight because of health reasons like high blood pressure also have concerns about the sodium content of nuts that are salted.
While these concerns are not entirely unwarranted, two of the biggest factors are timing and portions. The same applies to most other types of foods but specifically with nuts, consuming them in the morning allows for the active body to process the nutrients, burning them off without the concern of weight or salt retention.
It is also important to remember that the fats consumed through nuts have low saturation, which means that unlike those that come from animal fats, these are effective at lowering bad cholesterol (LDL). They are also rich in fiber, calcium, and potassium, which means that they are infused with a wide nutritional array that is beneficial to weight loss and overall health.
By and large, there is a calorie-to-protein ratio associated with most types of nuts that holds generally steady across most brands. The higher the protein content per ounce a nut has, typically the fewer calories per ounce it contains. One of the highest calorie counts by the ounce is in Macadamia nuts, which have over 200 calories, though only 2.2 protein grams. On the other side of the spectrum are almonds which are loaded with 6.2 grams of protein per ounce, while only carrying 168 calories.
Based on that logic, it would seem that consuming low-calorie nuts should be something one might want to do in the evening or afternoon, but there are other factors to consider. Actually eating almonds in the morning is highly recommended because of their high protein content and their abundance of other nutrients. These will help kick off your day with maximum energy, giving you more endurance to exercise, which is a huge factor in driving weight loss.
Cashews, pistachios, and pine nuts are better for later in the day because while they have lower protein content, they have a lower level of energy boosts, so if you were looking for a pick-up after a hard work day, munching on those makes more sense as they will still yield energy, but not contain a lot of calories that your body will then require less time to digest.
Avoiding certain nuts at night or in the late evening is also important. For instance, many might regard cashews as a welcome dessert substitute or pairing in the evening, but these sweet nuts cause stomach heaviness and lead to aches and indigestion. They could also adversely affect sleep quality and therefore the energy you will have the following day.
Excited dieters may read the above information about nuts and like the idea of substituting nuts for meats. However, this is in no way a good plan. The type of nut and the type of meat in question are certainly relevant factors, but it is important to keep in mind that the calorie content, one of the prime considerations in weight loss, would be much more significant coming from the volume of consumed nuts.
For instance, 4 ounces of lead chicken filet contains about 100 calories. Comparatively 4 ounces of walnuts, for instance, will contain 740. Four ounces of Pecans will have a calorie count closer to 800. Counting calories may not be fun, but when weight loss is in question, every calorie counts!