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Add grilled chicken to your salad to increase protein without the extra calories.
Adding nuts to your salad increases the calorie content of your meal. However, just because nuts are energy dense doesn't mean you should avoid them when trying to lose weight. Nuts are rich in protein and dietary fiber, which both help increase satiety, suggest authors of a review published in 2009 in the вЂњJournal of NutritionвЂќ and researchers who conducted a study published in 2009 in the вЂњEuropean Journal of Nutrition.вЂќ
Nuts and Weight Loss
Authors of a review published in 2010 in вЂњAsia Pacific Journal of Clinical NutritionвЂќ report that adding nuts - in moderation -- to your diet may lead to greater weight loss. This review notes that eating nuts regularly is associated with an increased resting energy expenditure, which is beneficial when you're trying to lose weight. Therefore, topping your salad with nuts is actually beneficial during weight loss, as long as you don't overdo it.
Salads and Weight Loss
Salads are an excellent choice during weight loss because they are rich in fiber and other essential nutrients, but low in calories. However, dousing your salad with high-calorie salad dressing will quickly pack on calories - and sodium and added sugars. Adding nuts to your salad helps increase satiation, which makes it easier to stick with a reduced-calorie, weight-loss meal plan. Use nuts in place of salad dressing, or choose a teaspoon of oil and vinegar instead.
If you eat nuts as part of a high-calorie meal plan, you likely won't achieve your weight-loss goal. The USDA Nutrient Data Laboratory reports that 1 ounce of cashews contains about 163 calories. For effective weight loss, a calorie deficit is required. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends reducing your current intake by 500 to 1,000 calories daily to achieve a 1- to 2-pound-per-week weight loss, which is safe and effective for long-term success. To avoid exceeding your weight-loss calorie needs, eat nuts in moderation and avoid added sugars, sugary drinks, refined grains, highly processed foods, high-fat meats and full-fat dairy foods.
Many types of nuts contain added sodium. While sodium in foods may not directly affect your weight loss, eating it in excess increases your risk for high blood pressure and heart disease. The U.S. Department of Agriculture Nutrient Data Laboratory reports that 1 ounce of salted cashews provides you with about 180 milligrams of sodium. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010 suggest limiting dietary sodium to 1,500 to 2,300 milligrams daily. If you're concerned about exceeding these sodium recommendations, choose unsalted nuts to sprinkle on top of your salad during weight loss.