If you're looking to lose a few extra pounds, you can do it by eating more. Well, actually, you can do it by eating more of these - nuts. Three studies have come out showing how nuts can help you lose weight, improve your health, and avoid diabetes.

In the first study, researchers from Canada followed healthy women and had them eat more legumes, nuts, and seeds. The women lost an average of one pound in 12 weeks. That doesn't sound like much. But more importantly, they also had a 1.2 cm decrease in their waist circumference. Your waist size is highly correlated with diabetes and vascular disease development. It suggests higher levels of insulin. And, in about nine months, you can reduce your waist size by nearly an inch-and-a-half - simply by eating more nuts.

But that's not all. Another study, this one from Spain, followed almost 9,000 adults (both sexes). The researchers found that frequent nut consumption helped reduce their weight by at least 11 pounds. When they stopped the study, 937 subjects quickly regained the weight (some gained even more). The study showed that if you eat nuts at least twice weekly, you'll have a 31% reduced risk of weight gain compared to those who rarely eat nuts. That's a significant finding! What's more, those who didn't eat nuts very often actually gained weight.

We know that extra weight is a signal you're headed toward type-2 diabetes. The nuts can help reduce this risk. But they're even more valuable for fighting diabetes than just weight control. They also reduce the glycemic effect of carbohydrates.

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In a Canadian study, researchers found that almonds significantly reduced the blood sugar impact of carbohydrates. They gave participants 50 gms of carbs in the form of bread after an overnight fast. In addition, they also gave the participants 30, 60, or 90 grams of almonds to eat at the same time. The almonds blunted the sugar impact of the carbs. That reduces the need for insulin, which is a very positive effect.

Action to take: Nuts are a great source of protein. They are a whole food and made by God. Just be sure that they are organic and raw. Furthermore, if you soak your nuts first (for at least 12 hours), you will unlock tremendous nutritional value. My wife makes me a smoothie every day with fruit and almonds that were soaked overnight. It's fabulous! Subscribers to my newsletter can get the recipe

References : Obesity (Silver Spring), 2007; 15(1): 107-16; Metabolism, 2007; 56(3): 400-4; Eur J Clin Nutr, 2007 February 7.

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