Here's good news for nut lovers - a joint study has suggested that eating nuts consistently may lead to a lower risk of being overweight or obese.

Loma Linda University School of Public Health and the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) found that those eating nuts have five percent lower chances of being overweight or obese.

People believe that instead of losing weight, snacking on nuts can make them gain weigh. But study author Dr Joan Sabate insisted that the fat levels found in nuts are “good fats” and further noted that nuts could replace animal fats.

“Eat nuts during meals, put them at the center of your plate to replace animal products. They’re very satiating,” Dr Sabate was quoted by the Daily Mail as saying.

Furthermore, nuts can provide a healthy dose of protein, vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals and serves as energy booster, the doctor said.

The researchers looked at  the diets and weights of 373,000 adults in 10 European countries, whose ages ranged from 25 to 70 over a period of five years.

The team worked with the data provided by the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition, as well as received the help of 35 other research scientists from 12 European countries and Malaysia.

The team included peanuts, ground nut, almonds, hazelnuts, pistachios and walnuts, which are tree nuts, in the study.

Participants were found to have gained an average of 2.1 kilograms within the five-year period of the study, but those who consumed nuts, had less weight gains and lower chance of becoming obese.

“To me, this confirms that nuts are not an obesogenic food,” Dr Sabate said, as he urged people to consume nuts regularly.

In the authors’ previous study, they linked nuts with a number of health benefits, such as healthy ageing and improved memory function.

The study was published in the European Journal of Nutrition. MIMS

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