Research by Dr. Richard Mattes, Purdue University, suggests
that almonds may be a good snack option, especially for
those concerned about weight.
An Almond Board–funded study published in the October issue of the European Journal of Clinical Nutritioni found that study participants eating 1.5 ounces of dry-roasted, lightly salted almonds every day experienced reduced hunger and improved dietary vitamin E and monounsaturated (“good”) fat intake without increasing body weight.ii The newly published four-week randomized, controlled clinical study, led by Dr. Richard Mattes at Purdue University, investigated the effects of almond snacking on weight and appetite.
The study included 137 adult participants at increased risk for type 2 diabetes. Participants 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.
Despite consuming approximately 250 calories per day from almonds, participants did not consume more calories over the course of the day or gain weight over the course of the four-week study.
Snacking has become nearly universal behavior in the United States, with an estimated 97% of Americans consuming at least one snack per day (data from 2003–2006; up from 71% in 1977).iii In light of increasing snacking frequency and snack sizeiv among U.S. adults, it is more important than ever to identify snacks that pose little risk for weight gain and provide nutrition and health benefits.
According to Dr. Mattes, “This research suggests that almonds may be a good snack option, especially for those concerned about weight. 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.”
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iTan YT, Mattes RD. Appetitive, dietary and health effects of almonds consumed with meals or as snacks: a randomised, controlled trial. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2013; 67:1205-1214. October 2, 2013, doi:10.1038/ejcn.2013.184
iiU.S. Dietary Guidelines recommend that the majority of your fat intake be unsaturated. One serving of almonds (28g) has 13g of unsaturated fat and only 1g of saturated fat.
iiiPiernas C, Popkin BM. Snacking increased among U.S. adults between 1977 and 2006. J Nutr 2010; 140:325-332.
ivUS Department of Agriculture. What we eat in America, 2011.