Snacking on Almonds Helps Stabilise Body Weight

Almonds photoAlmonds may prove helpful for those trying to lose weight as obesity rates are now at an average of 35 percent in America, with some states approaching the 50 percent mark. (The problem in Australia may not be as bad but we are heading that way).

Well documented are the myriad of health aggravating concerns as these individuals dramatically increase their risk of cardiovascular disease, many cancers, diabetes and stroke as the stage is set for most other chronic disease conditions.

If lowering the risk for developing any of these potentially fatal conditions is not sufficient reason to lose weight, quality of life issues abound as it becomes more difficult to walk, climb stairs and perform many of the basic life functions that normal weight people take for granted.

Substituting Almonds for Junk Food Snacks Helps Lower Body Weight

Snacking between meals has become a national pastime, as an estimated 97 percent of people consume at least one sugary, refined carbohydrate snack each day, with many people eating 3 or more servings. These nutritionally void calories add up quickly and cause blood sugar surges that prompt more snacking behavior in a never ending cycle. Add on the sugar laden beverages that typically accompany a snack attack and it’s not difficult to add an additional 600 to 1,000 daily calories for many people. If done consistently on a regular basis, this can slowly lead to an extra 5-10 kilos of body fat each year, if not offset by a significant amount of physical activity or an increased metabolic rate.

Research validates eating Almonds

A research team from Purdue University in Indiana has published the results of a study in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition demonstrating that study participants eating 1.5 ounces of dry-roasted, lightly salted almonds every day experienced reduced hunger and improved dietary Vitamin E and healthy monounsaturated fat intake without increasing body weight. Substituting a handful of almonds for a sugary, processed carbohydrate-rich snack once or twice a day may help significantly cut empty calories and can assist with weight management issues.

Eat One to Two Handfuls of Almonds Each Day

To conduct their study, research members analysed 137 overweight or obese adult participants that exhibited increased risk for developing metabolic syndrome and diabetes. The study subjects were divided into five groups: a control group that avoided all nuts and seeds, a breakfast meal group and lunch meal group that ate 1.5 ounces of almonds each with their daily breakfast or lunch, and a morning snack group and afternoon snack group that each consumed 1.5 ounces of almonds between their customary meals. Participants made no other changes to their diet, including the addition of between meal snacks.

Extra Calories but no body weight gain

Although the participants consumed an additional 250 calories each day, they did not increase body weight during the study. This suggests that by eliminating high calories snacks in favor of almonds would yield significant weight loss results and provide a healthy dose of fiber and disease-fighting vitamin E and other essential nutrients. Lead study author, Dr. Richard Mattes concluded “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.” One to two handfuls of almonds each day in place of junk snacks may just be the key to healthy, permanent weight loss for many overweight and obese individuals.

About the author:

Mr Vitamins guest author, John Phillip is a USA-based Nutritional Consultant and Health Researcher  who writes regularly on the cutting edge use of diet, lifestyle modifications and targeted supplementation to enhance and improve the quality and length of life.

Sources for this article include:

http://www.nature.com/ejcn/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/ejcn2013184a.html
http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2013-10/pn-sss100813.php
http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/267214.php

Mr Vitamins