It is clear that how much food we eat impacts our health and body weight. Research is also making it clear that certain foods, particularly high-energy, low-nutrient foods, can have a negative effect on our health and cause weight gain. In contrast, other types of foods can have a beneficial effect on our body weight and overall health. Two recent studies explored the impact of soup and nuts on body weight changes.
In the first study, researchers investigated the relationship between soup consumption and body weight and other health factors in 103 Japanese men. The men's intake of soup was measured using a validated food-frequency questionnaire and the link between soup consumption and body weight was analyzed. The study investigators reported that average soup consumption in this group of Japanese men was 7 times per week and that a higher frequency of soup consumption was linked to a lower body mass index (BMI), smaller waist size, and smaller waist-to-hip ratio. This study suggests that increased frequency of soup consumption decreases obesity risk factors.
In the second study, researchers analyzed several long-term population-based studies on the impact of nut consumption on body weight changes. According to the researchers, two large studies reported that adding nuts to one's regular diet reduced long-term weight gain. A study of over 1,200 people consuming a Mediterranean diet showed that addition of tree nuts to the Mediterranean diet for 1 year had a beneficial effect on waist size. A third study of nearly 12,000 subjects showed that eating greater amounts of nuts helped reduce yearly weight gain with individuals consuming more than 4 servings of nuts per week gaining an average of 1/2 pound of weight per year compared to about 3/4 pounds per year in those eating fewer than 4 servings of nuts per week.
These are rather interesting studies that might help many of us make healthier food choices. Nuts are a tasty treat for most people that don't have nut allergies; however, most nuts are rich in protein, fat, and calories. Their level of fat and calories has made nuts a somewhat cautionary food item for individuals trying to lose weight. Fortunately, the fat in nuts is mostly of the healthier, unsaturated variety. According to the study above, nuts might actually have a beneficial effect on weight gain prevention. However, nuts are one of those snacks that we typically find very easy to over eat, so we should still practice moderation.
Soups can make a very healthy meal. If you make your own, make sure to add plenty of vegetables. This will make the soup a very nutritious meal that will help you get your recommended amount of daily vegetables as well as increase your dietary fiber consumption. Just remember to go easy on the salt. This is also true for canned soups, which often contain very high levels of sodium. Adding soup to your weekly menu plans can be a delicious and satisfying choice, just be sure to choose healthy options.
Aaron Tabor, MD
Diet, Anti-Aging, and Nutritional Cosmetic Expert
Author of Dr. Tabor’s Diet and FIGHT NOW.
Learn more about Dr. Tabor’s diet and anti-aging research at www.DrTabor.com.
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