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How nuts keep weight loss without feeling hungry

Walnuts: Control appetite by activating target brain areas

New and effective diets are reported daily. In general, nuts have long been known as one of the most valuable foods, they have a positive effect on our metabolism and are very well suited to the prevention of cardiovascular diseases. Scientists have been able to prove in a study that especially walnuts are ideal for promotion during a weight loss diet. Walnuts cause a positive feeling of satiety, which is very useful for weight loss.

For the first time, researchers at the Beth Israel Diagnostic Center (BIDMC) have been able to demonstrate the neurocognitive effects of walnut consumption in their current study. They discovered that walnut consumption activates a portion of the brain responsible for controlling hunger and appetite. Researchers publish their findings in the journal Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism.

Walnuts also develop a brain effect that increases the sense of satiety and control of hunger. (Image: karepa /

Brain activity in walnut consumption has been studied

To determine how walnuts work in the brain, scientists have used imaging technique for functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). They were able to monitor activity in the brain and determine which areas of the brain are activated when they consume walnuts. Ten obese volunteers were transferred to the clinic for two five-day study periods, where they received a strictly controlled diet. Scientists, therefore, did not have to rely on the data on food consumption subjects, but they could understand that.

Subjects receive Placcebo walnut puree or beverage

During a five-day session, participants received daily shakes containing 48 grams of walnuts (recommended by the American Diabetes Association). During the second study period, they received non-alcoholic but nutritionally comparable placebo spoonfuls flavored with the walnut shake. The order of the two study periods was chosen by chance, so some participants consume walnuts first and others placebo. "Neither volunteers nor researchers knew what sessions they received," BIDMC said in a press release on the results of this study.

Less hunger after consumption of walnut

As in previous studies, participants in this study reported that they were less hungry during the week when they received the walnut sheaver. In the study by functional magnetic resonance tomography on the fifth day of the experiment, a clear cause could be determined, according to the researchers. After walnut consumption, participants showed that imaging with delicious, rather unhealthy foods and less tasty, rather healthy foods significantly increased activity in the brain called insulin.

Activate the insulator

The activated insulin range is likely to be involved in the cognitive control of the decision to eat certain foods, researchers say. As a result, attendees focused more on choosing foods and chose healthier, less tasty options. Researchers stress that there is no ambiguity in the results of the study.

"When participants eat nuts, this part of their brain shines, and we know it is in line with what they report: they are less hungry and more comfortable," says study leader Christos Manzoros.

Influence of food on brain activity

"We often do not think how what we eat affects the activity in our brain," says study author Olivia M. Far of the Department of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism at BIDMC. This study clearly shows that there is also evidence of brain activity for welfare and lower starvation after walnut consumption. In other words, swallowed foods have direct neurocognitive effects in the brain, which in turn have a significant impact on eating behavior.

In the next step, researchers plan to test different amounts or doses of walnuts to see if more nuts lead to more brain activation or if a maximum amount is achieved after a certain amount. Furthermore, the neurocognitive effect of other foods should also be investigated. (Fp)

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