Almonds Found to be Healthy Snack That Doesn’t Contribute to Weight Gain
Studies show that snacking is contributing more and more to our average daily calorie intake. However, many snacks provide calories but do not result in feeling full or provide much nutritious value. A recent study suggests that snacking on almonds may result in longer feelings of satiety and improve dietary vitamin E and monounsaturated (“good”) fat intake without contributing to weight gain.
Participants in the study included 137 people between the ages of 18 and 60 who were at increased risk of developing type-2 diabetes either due to being overweight or obese or because they had a strong genetic predisposition to the ailment. They all were regular breakfast eaters and had not had a weight change of more than 11 lbs. over the past three months.
Over the course of 4 weeks, they were participated in one of five different interventions:
1. No nuts or seeds for the entire study period;
2. 1.5 oz. of almonds each morning with breakfast;
3. 1.5 oz. of almonds each afternoon with lunch;
4. 1.5 oz. of almonds as a snack between breakfast and lunch;
5. 1.5 oz. of almonds as a snack between lunch and dinner.
At the conclusion of the study, the researchers found that fast blood biochemistries and anthropometric measures were the same across all of the groups. However, the almond groups had reduced their daily calories intake to compensate for the additional 250 calories daily from the almonds, without being instructed to do so. They also showed higher levels of monounsaturated fat and a-tocopherol when compared with the control group.
Snacking on almonds was shown to have a more notable effect on managing blood sugar levels than eating them with a meal.
Researchers from Purdue University conducted the study. It was published online ahead of print on October 2, 2013, in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
A one ounce serving of almonds has 6 grams of protein. Replacing a carbohydrate with one serving of almonds may help maintain healthy cholesterol levels. Additionally, almonds are a great source of magnesium and manganese.
Almonds can easily be added to your daily diet as a mid-day snack, in breakfast cereal, or even sprinkled over a small serving of ice cream for dessert. Consider substituting a less healthy snack such as potato chips or cookies for a handful of almonds.