Study: Almonds Help Curb Hunger

The nutrient-dense nut fills you up without risk of weight gain, researchers say.

If you’ve steered clear of almonds for fear of excess kilojoules, a new study may prompt you to reconsider the nutrient-dense nut. Nutrition scientists at Purdue University, US, found that subjects who snacked on dry-roasted almonds curbed their appetite without gaining weight.

In the study, 137 adults who were at risk for Type 2 diabetes were divided into five groups. One group avoided all nuts and seeds, while the others ate 40 grams of almonds daily (about 35 nuts) for four weeks either with their breakfast or lunch, or as a morning or afternoon snack. The snack groups consumed the nuts about two hours after a meal and two hours before their next meal.

Despite consuming 1045 kilojoules from almonds, participants’ total kilojoule intake did not increase and they did not gain weight during the month-long experiment, according to the study.

The new research was published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Richard Mattes, Ph.D., a professor of nutrition science at Purdue and the study’s lead author, says subjects adjusted their diet because they didn’t feel as hungry between meals and during meals, particularly among the groups that snacked on almonds.

One likely reason for the feeling of satiation is almonds’ combination of protein, fibre and monounsaturated fat – slow-digesting nutrients that can make you feel fuller longer than if you’d eaten only carbohydrates.

Mattes and his colleagues also believe that, based on previous research, not all of almonds’ kilojoules are absorbed by the body. Whole almonds, the researchers suggest, may contain 20 per cent fewer kilojoules than the Nutrition Facts Panel states because the rigidity of the cells inhibit absorption.

“This research suggests that almonds may be a good snack option, especially for those concerned about weight,” Mattes says.

Subjects in this study also had increased vitamin E levels compared to control. Vitamin E is a hard-to-get antioxidant that aids heart health.

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