If you are finding it difficult to control what and how much you eat, it’s time to add almonds to your diet.
A study published this month in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition has found that eating 45 grams (1.5 ounces) of dry roasted or even lightly salted almonds every day reduces hunger, improves your body’s vitamin E intake and monounsaturated fats – the good kind – all without increasing body weight.
Researchers at Purdue University in the US state of Indiana studied 137 adults over a four-week period who were at increased risk of type 2 diabetes. They were divided into five groups: a control group that was not given any nuts or seeds; a breakfast meal group and a lunch meal group in which each person consumed 1.5 ounces of almonds with either their breakfast or lunch; and a morning snack group and an afternoon snack group, in which each participant consumed 45 grams of almonds as snacks eaten within two hours of their last meal and two hours before their next meal.
The principal researcher Richard Mattes states: “In this study, participants compensated for the additional calories provided by the almonds, so their daily energy intake did not rise, and they reported reduced hunger levels and the desire to eat at subsequent meals, particularly when almonds were consumed as a snack.”
While all groups that consumed almonds reported fewer hunger pangs and higher levels of both vitamin E and monounsaturated fats, those who ate almonds as a snack reported the best results.
It appears that snacking on almonds keeps you full for longer and does not sabotage your weight-loss goals, while helping balance your blood-sugar levels that, in turn, will actually help you lose weight. Almonds are indeed very nutritious – they are rich in magnesium, calcium, vitamins and those good fats that are essential to our health and that so many of us unfortunately lack in our diet.
The study says that if you plan to add a small serving of almonds to your daily diet, it’s safe to eat the lightly salted or dry-roasted kind, but consuming larger amounts would mean that you would have to look closely at the kind you have purchased. If you are partial to the salted variety, steer clear of high sodium and stick to good-quality sea salt. In the end, au natural is the best way to go.
Laura Holland is a well-being consultant and nutritional therapist. For more information, go to www.BeUtifulYou.Com