A recent study by researchers at the University of South Australia has shown that including almonds in a calorie-restricted diet can help with weight loss and improve cardiometabolic health. This contradicts the belief that nuts can hinder weight loss efforts due to their high fat content.
The study, the largest of its kind, compared the effects of a calorie-restricted diet containing California almonds and a diet containing high-carbohydrate snacks. The results showed that both diets successfully reduced body weight by about 7 kg.
Dr. Sharayah Carter, a researcher at the University of South Australia, points out that nuts like almonds make a great snack because they are rich in protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals. Although high in fat, these fats are unsaturated and are considered healthy. They can help improve blood cholesterol levels, reduce inflammation and contribute to a healthy heart.
Additionally, the study found that diets supplemented with almonds resulted in statistically significant changes in certain lipoprotein subfractions, which are associated with long-term improvements in cardiometabolic health. Additionally, almonds have the added benefit of promoting satiety, making them a useful weight control tool.
The study involved 106 people who followed a nine-month nutritional program that consisted of a three-month calorie-restricted diet for weight loss and then a six-month energy-controlled diet for weight maintenance. In both phases, 15% of participants’ energy intake came from whole unsalted almonds (in the walnut diet) or carbohydrate-rich snacks (in the walnut-free diet).
These results provide further evidence that dietitians and nutritionists can recommend almonds as part of a balanced diet for weight loss. Almonds are a nutritious snack option that can help with weight management while providing important health benefits.