Brazil Nuts for Weight Loss

Brazil nuts are the seeds of fruit that grows on Brazil nut trees, which are common in South America. Although these nuts are technically seeds and not nuts, they do exhibit similar nutritional characteristics to other nuts. Though Brazil nuts are calorie-dense, they do have beneficial characteristics that may encourage weight loss as part of a reduced-calorie diet.

A close-up of shelled brazil nuts. (Image: HandmadePictures/iStock/Getty Images)

Calories

Brazil nuts are high in calories, as each 1-ounce serving of these nuts provides 186 calories, or 9.3 percent of the daily suggested intake of 2,000. While this is a lot of calories for a small serving, you can burn off the calories relatively quickly if you exercise regularly. For example, a 13-minute walk at 4.5 miles per hour, or 8 minutes of running at 5 miles per hour would burn 186 calories, according to Harvard Medical School.

Brazil Nut Fats

As with other nuts and seeds, Brazil nuts are rich in fat. Each 1-ounce serving provides about 19 grams of fat, of which just 4 grams is saturated. Although fat is calorie-dense, MedlinePlus explains that fat does provide feelings of fullness, so it can be helpful for dieting. Additionally, research published in the February 2006 issue of "Archives of Internal Medicine" suggests that reducing fat intake when dieting can be detrimental for weight loss compared with reducing carbohydrates.

Carbohydrates in Brazil Nuts

Although high in fat, Brazil nuts are low in carbohydrates. Each 1-ounce serving of these nuts contains just 3.5 grams of carbohydrates. Thus, Brazil nuts can be beneficial for low-carbohydrate diets, which research published in the March 2010 edition of "Nutrition & Metabolism" found to be more beneficial for fat and weight loss than a standard diet.

Fiber Content

Brazil nuts are rich in fiber. Each 1-ounce serving contains 2 grams of fiber, meaning that nearly 60 percent of the carbohydrates in these nuts come from fiber. A research analysis published in the May 2001 issue of "Nutrition Review" concluded that increased fiber intake can promote improved satiety and better weight loss on reduced-calorie diets.

Arginine Content

Brazil nuts contain 4 grams of protein per 1-ounce serving, which can be beneficial because protein supplies amino acids. Brazil nuts are particularly rich in arginine, an amino acid that may aid in weight loss. A study published in the July 2010 issue of "Amino Acids" found that arginine may help increase energy expenditure and promote fat loss, making it beneficial for dieting.

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