Replacing sugary snacks with a handful of nuts could lower the risk of obesity and excessive weight gain.
NPR reports that more than 280,000 adults took part in three lengthy research studies where their diet and weight was monitored.
Those participating in the study were followed for over 20 years and were asked every four years about weight and how often they were eating nuts.
Researchers discovered that participants who consistently included nuts in their diet gained less weight.
Epidemiologist and researcher Deirdre Tobias said, "We wanted to know whether nuts were associated with long-term weight gain."
More importantly, researchers say a small handful of nuts is all it takes. For example, 12 almonds or 10 walnuts.
CBN News previously reported that walnuts have been linked to brain health as you get older because they may help prevent dementia and Alzheimer's Disease.
Libby Mills, spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics said, "Nuts have protein in them, which helps us feel full longer, and fiber, which helps fill us up."
"When you increase nuts at the expense of these other snack foods, there's an even greater benefit," Tobias added.
A previous study by the Cleveland Clinic revealed that a diet loaded with excessive unhealthy foods was associated with one in five deaths worldwide.
"We know that sugar is bad and people eat 10 times as much sugar as is recommended; we know that nuts are good, and prevent disease, and people eat only 12 percent of the recommended amount of nuts; so, we're eating way too much of the bad stuff, and hardly enough of the good stuff," said Dr. Mark Hyman, M.D., director of the Center for Functional Medicine of Cleveland Clinic, in a press release.
Researchers recommend that whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds should make up 80 percent of your diet.