A new study in America has found people who eat 1.5 ounces of dry-roasted, lightly salted almonds every day experienced reduced hunger and improved dietary vitamin E and monounsaturated fat intake without increasing body weight. So are almonds beneficial to weight loss?
Snacking has become a regular habit in the US with an estimated 97 per cent of Americans consuming at least one snack a day. This is a good statistic, but only if the snack is a healthy one. With the rise in obesity rates in the US, it is increasingly important to choose healthy snacks that do not cause weight gain.
This latest study, which was led by researchers at Purdue University, investigated the effects of almond snacking on weight gain and appetite.
The study involved 137 adults who were at increased risk for type 2 diabetes. The participants were divided into five groups. The control group that avoided all nuts and seed, a breakfast meal group, and a lunch meal group that ate 1.5 ounces of almonds a day with their respective meals, and a morning snack and afternoon snack group that consumed 1.5 ounces of almonds between meals. The participants were not given any other instructions, other than to follow their usual eating habits and physical activity.
The results found that monounsaturated fat (good fat) and vitamin E intake were significantly increased in all almond groups compared to baseline and the control group. The participants did not increase the total number of calories they ate and drank over the course of the day or gain any weight during the study, despite consuming approximately 250 more calories per day from almonds. The daylong ratings of hunger and the desire to eat were also significantly reduced in the almond group.
“This research suggests that almonds may be a good snack option, especially for those concerned about weight,” says Richard Mattes, PhD, MPH, RD, distinguished professor of nutrition science at Purdue University and the study’s principal investigator.
“In this study, participants compensated for the additional calories provided by the almonds so daily energy intake did not rise and reported reduced hunger levels and desire to eat at subsequent meals, particularly when almonds were consumed as a snack.”
This study answers some of the claims that nuts and seeds cause weight gain. Healthy snacks have a huge role in weight management and also help to provide us with additional vitamins and nutrients.