For me the best way of slimming is simply to eat less and avoid a late night dinner. Eventually the stomach shrinks and you no longer feel the urge or have the capacity to binge.

Anyway, new research has found that a handful of walnuts a day can supress hunger and make you feel full. The study involved 26 men and women aged 18-35 who were placed on a 7-day diet high in polyunsaturated fats (PUFAs). They then consumed meals high in saturated fats. Changes in the participants’ hormone levels were recorded as they were asked how hungry they felt. Both diets contained the same number of calories and percentage of fats.


The PUFA-rich diet included wholefoods such as walnuts, Alaskan salmon, tuna, flaxseed oil, grapeseed oil, Canola oil and fish oil supplements. Walnuts are unique among nuts as they are mainly comprised of PUFAs. Every ounce – about 7 whole walnuts – contains 13 grams of PUFA out of 18 grams of total fat. Those who consumed the diet high in PUFAs had a significant decrease in ghrelin, a hormone that increases hunger. Meanwhile, there was a similar increase in peptide yy (PYY) a hormone that increases fullness or satiety.

Professor JB Cooper, a nutritionist from the University of Georgia in the US, said: ‘Appetite hormones play an important role in regulating how much we eat. These findings tell us that eating foods rich in PUFAs, like those found in walnuts, may favourably change appetite hormones so we can feel fuller far longer.’

Professor Cooper, whose study was funded by the California Walnut Commission, added that larger and longer studies were now required. More clinical trials are also needed to determine the optimum intake of dietary PUFAs to offer the greatest health benefits.

The findings were published in journal Nutrition.

Well, there you have it. I eat less and have the same results, although I’ve always considered walnuts beneficial to health in general.

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