One of the studies, including 25,394 men, specifically focussed on the effect of a nutty diet on weigh gain over a 4 year period, while the other assessed the ability of the Brazil nut to increase a feeling of 'fullness' and improve the glucose and insulin response in subjects.
"People often see nuts as food items high in fat and calories," said Dr. Xiaoran Liu, an author of the first study from the nutrition department of Harvard School of Public Health, "so they hesitate to consider them as healthy snacks, but they are in fact associated with less weight gain and wellness."
"Once people reach adulthood, they start to gradually gain about one pound a year of weight [0.4kg in Aussie], which seems small. But if you consider gaining one pound over 20 years, it accumulates to a lot of weight gain," she said. "Adding one ounce [28 grams] of nuts to your diet in place of less healthy foods -- such as red or processed meat, French fries or sugary snacks -- may help prevent that slow, gradual weight gain after you enter adulthood and reduce the risk of obesity-related cardiovascular diseases."
And the benefits are reportedly two-fold. According to the Brazil nut study, conducted by the School of Exercise & Nutritional Sciences at San Diego State University, identified the larger nut to be effective in curbing hunger, when compared to eating the same quantities of snack foods, such as pretzels.
"Our study allows researchers and clinicians to consider the possible beneficial role of Brazil nuts to help people feel full and maintain a healthy level of glucose, reducing the risk of obesity and diabetes," said Dr. Mee Young Hong, a senior author of the study.
The nutty research is further good news for the delicious snack, after earlier research this year linked nuts to healthy sperm (I guess both kind of nuts are applicable here). The research, conducted by the Human Nutrition Unit of the Universitat Rovira I Virgil, found "the inclusion of nuts in a regular diet significantly improves the quality and function of human sperm."