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A handful of walnuts may help lose weight

Walnuts can alter the way our brains view food and impact appetites, say researchers

Nicholas Bakalar | NYT 

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Walnut is rich in omega-3 fatty acids and other substances which are linked to reduced risk of obesity and diabetes, finds a study. Photo: Shutterstock

A handful of walnuts may be an effective tool.

Walnuts are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and other substances and, in moderation, have been linked to reduced risk of obesity and diabetes. They may also efficiently reduce

Researchers now may have found out why. They had nine hospitalised obese patients drink, on five consecutive days, either a smoothie containing 48 grams of walnuts (1.7 ounces, or about 14 halves and 315 calories) or a placebo smoothie identical in taste and calorie content. Then, after a month on their regular diet, the patients returned for a second five-day trial, with placebo drinkers on the first trial receiving a smoothie, and vice versa.

The participants underwent MRI brain exams while looking at pictures of high-fat food (cake, for example), (vegetables) or neutral pictures of rocks and trees. The study, published in Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism, found that when people looked at pictures of high-fat food, activation in the insula, a part of the brain involved in and impulse control, increased among those who drank the smoothie, but not among placebo drinkers.

“Walnuts can alter the way our view food and impact our appetites,” said the lead author, Olivia M Farr, of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. “Our results confirm the current recommendations to include walnuts as part of a healthy diet.”

2017 © New York Times News Service

First Published: Sat, August 19 2017. 21:41 IST