If you are looking to put on lean muscle, one of the best diet tips I can give you is that you must up your intake of healthy fats! Healthy fats are incredible for helping with hard-earned muscle gains, yet most people underestimate the importance of a healthy and balanced diet. If you are looking to add muscle mass you need at least 25-35 percent of your total calories to be healthy fats.
Since it is not realistic to eat five pounds of salmon or pure oil per day, one of the best ways to get your intake of healthy fats is through nuts. Nuts provide for a highly nutritious and calorie dense snack that is the perfect catalyst for muscle growth. Nuts help to build lean muscle mass in several different ways. In one study it was found that people who ate more nuts had higher testosterone levels. One of the nuts that is considered the king of testosterone-boosting is the Brazilian nut. Eating just one serving of Brazil nuts per day has more than ten times the recommended amount of selenium. According to livestrong.com, “The NIH reports that selenium can boost testosterone levels in men and it has been found to improve sperm production and motility.” Increasing testosterone is the goal of many men looking for increased vitality and lean muscle mass. Testosterone levels start dropping when you enter your 30’s and this is why it is so hard to put on lean muscle mass as you age and get older. Increased testosterone levels will help you build muscle and increase energy.
One of the best ways that nuts help to build lean muscle is by providing nutrient-dense calories. Since fat is nine calories for every gram compared to only four calories for protein and carbohydrates – it is more caloric. When you are training hard and trying to build lean muscle mass you have to consume more calories than you are burning. If you are in a calorie deficit – meaning that you are burning more calories than you are consuming – you will not be able to build lean muscle. Your muscles require that you are ingesting lots of quality calories and a wide array of nutrients. Eating several servings of nuts per day gives you an extra 500-600 calories per day. This is why many body builders eat peanut butter, as well. Cashew butter, peanut butter and almond butter are about 90 percent nuts and will give you the ability to build lean muscle and consume more calories than you are burning. Lifting weights intensely burns calories as well, so eating nuts is the extra insurance your body needs to ensure you are eating enough calories.
Nuts are also high in protein, which are the building blocks of your muscles. Nuts are high in protein and healthy fats, meaning they are the perfect combination to give you energy and build muscle mass. Consuming several servings of nuts can give you an extra 30-35 grams of protein per day, which will aid in muscle recovery and growth.
Nuts are also a great source of energy for your workouts. Nuts are high in healthy fats and your body will use this as energy during your workouts. If you don’t consume enough healthy fats, your body will use extra protein as an energy source. This is bad because you want your protein intake to fuel your muscle growth, not take away from it. If your protein is being used as an energy source, your muscles will not be fed enough amino acids and protein. Consuming several serving of nuts per day ensures this does not happen.