Almonds May Help Control Calories, Study Shows

As rates of overweight and obesity continue to rise throughout the developed world, a new study published in the European Journal of Nutrition has found that a handful of almonds may be one of the more effective snacks for making a dent in weight loss. Researchers from the University of South Australia observed a group of 25-65-year-old adults with a BMI of 27.5 to 35 and found that almonds improved feelings of satisfaction and fullness and lowered their energy intake. “Our research examined the hormones that regulate appetite and how nuts—specifically almonds—might contribute to appetite control,” Carter said. “We found that people who ate almonds experienced changes in their appetite-regulating hormones and that these may have contributed to reduced food intake by 300 kilojoules (72 calories).” Participants in the study who ate almonds raised their glucagon by 39 percent and pancreatic polypeptide responses by 44 percent. Glucagon sends satiety signals to the brain, while pancreatic polypeptide slows digestion and may reduce food intake, encouraging weight loss. People who ate almonds were also found to reduce their risk of developing diabetes and heart disease. (Wasanajai/Shutterstock) “Almonds are high in protein, fibre, and unsaturated fatty acids, which may contribute to their satiating properties and help explain why fewer kilojoules were consumed,” lead author and dietitian Sharayah Carter said. “Rates of overweight and obesity are a major public health concern, and modulating appetite through better hormonal response may be key to promoting weight management.” The findings of this study show that eating almonds produce small changes in people’s energy intake. “Even small, positive lifestyle changes can have an impact over a longer period. When we’re making small, sustainable changes, we’re more likely to be improving our overall health in the long run,” Carter said. The research was funded by the Almond Board of California, which represent 7,6000 almond growers and 99 processors in the region. The almond is a tree nut native to the Mediterranean region. It has been found as early as 3,000 BC and is even referenced in the first book of the Bible, Genesis, as a prized food given as a gift. A Caveat People with a tendency to get kidney stones are advised against eating too many almonds because they have the highest amounts of oxalates, according to Dr Eric Berg, a chiropractor who specialises in healthy ketosis and intermittent fasting. One hundred grams of almonds have 469 mg of oxalates, a chemical compound found in foods that, combined with calcium, can irritate the kidney and other tissues in the body and can form kidney stones. (Liesel_Fuchs/iStock) The nuts that are the lowest on the scale for oxalates are cashews (262mg), pistachios (49mg), and macadamias (42mg). Berg says an alternative solution is to consume almonds with cheese or lemon juice, which can help lower the oxalate stones’ binding effect. Eating raw almonds can be hard on the digestive system, so soaking or baking them removes enzyme inhibitors, making them easier to digest. Follow Jessie Zhang is a reporter based in Sydney covering Australian news, focusing on health and environment. Contact her at [email protected]

Almonds May Help Control Calories, Study Shows

As rates of overweight and obesity continue to rise throughout the developed world, a new study published in the European Journal of Nutrition has found that a handful of almonds may be one of the more effective snacks for making a dent in weight loss.

Researchers from the University of South Australia observed a group of 25-65-year-old adults with a BMI of 27.5 to 35 and found that almonds improved feelings of satisfaction and fullness and lowered their energy intake.

“Our research examined the hormones that regulate appetite and how nuts—specifically almonds—might contribute to appetite control,” Carter said.

“We found that people who ate almonds experienced changes in their appetite-regulating hormones and that these may have contributed to reduced food intake by 300 kilojoules (72 calories).”

Participants in the study who ate almonds raised their glucagon by 39 percent and pancreatic polypeptide responses by 44 percent.

Glucagon sends satiety signals to the brain, while pancreatic polypeptide slows digestion and may reduce food intake, encouraging weight loss.

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People who ate almonds were also found to reduce their risk of developing diabetes and heart disease. (Wasanajai/Shutterstock)

“Almonds are high in protein, fibre, and unsaturated fatty acids, which may contribute to their satiating properties and help explain why fewer kilojoules were consumed,” lead author and dietitian Sharayah Carter said.

“Rates of overweight and obesity are a major public health concern, and modulating appetite through better hormonal response may be key to promoting weight management.”

The findings of this study show that eating almonds produce small changes in people’s energy intake.

“Even small, positive lifestyle changes can have an impact over a longer period. When we’re making small, sustainable changes, we’re more likely to be improving our overall health in the long run,” Carter said.

The research was funded by the Almond Board of California, which represent 7,6000 almond growers and 99 processors in the region.

The almond is a tree nut native to the Mediterranean region. It has been found as early as 3,000 BC and is even referenced in the first book of the Bible, Genesis, as a prized food given as a gift.

A Caveat

People with a tendency to get kidney stones are advised against eating too many almonds because they have the highest amounts of oxalates, according to Dr Eric Berg, a chiropractor who specialises in healthy ketosis and intermittent fasting.

One hundred grams of almonds have 469 mg of oxalates, a chemical compound found in foods that, combined with calcium, can irritate the kidney and other tissues in the body and can form kidney stones.

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(Liesel_Fuchs/iStock)

The nuts that are the lowest on the scale for oxalates are cashews (262mg), pistachios (49mg), and macadamias (42mg).

Berg says an alternative solution is to consume almonds with cheese or lemon juice, which can help lower the oxalate stones’ binding effect.

Eating raw almonds can be hard on the digestive system, so soaking or baking them removes enzyme inhibitors, making them easier to digest.


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Jessie Zhang is a reporter based in Sydney covering Australian news, focusing on health and environment. Contact her at [email protected]