Walnuts are calorie-dense, but studies suggest that the energy absorbed from them is 21% lower than would be expected based on their nutrients. What’s more, eating walnuts may even help control your appetite. In a well-controlled study in 10 obese people, drinking a smoothie made with about 1.75 ounces (48 grams) of walnuts once a day for five days decreased appetite and hunger, compared to a placebo drink equal in calories and nutrients. Additionally, after five days of consuming the walnut smoothies, brain scans showed that the participants had increased activation in a region of the brain that helped them resist highly tempting food cues, such as cake and French fries. Even though larger and longer-term studies are needed, this provides some initial insight as to how walnuts may help control appetite and weight.
- Sprinkled on leafy green or fruit salads.
- Finely ground in dips and sauces.
- Chopped and used in whole-grain breads and scones.
- Crushed to use as a coating on fish or chicken.
- Served atop oatmeal or yogurt.
- Chopped and added to wraps or pita sandwiches.
- Roasted and added to a homemade trail mix.
- Lightly browned in your favorite stir-fry recipe.
- Roasted, chopped and used on pasta or vegetables.
- As oil in a vinaigrette dressing.