Including Almonds in Your Weight Loss Diet: The Surprising Findings

Including Almonds in Your Weight Loss Diet: The Surprising Findings

New research from the University of South Australia challenges the belief that nuts should be avoided when trying to lose weight. Despite their calorie-dense nature, almonds have been found to be a beneficial addition to a weight-loss diet. The study, published in the journal Obesity and funded by the Almond Board of California, included 106 participants who followed a nine-month eating program.

The program consisted of three months of energy-restricted dieting for weight loss, followed by six months of energy-controlled dieting for weight maintenance. In both phases, 15 percent of participants’ energy intake included unsalted whole almonds with skins or carbohydrate-rich snacks for the nut-free group. The results showed that both diets successfully reduced body weight by approximately 7kg.

Dr. Sharayah Carter, a researcher at the University of South Australia, explains that the misconception that nuts contribute to weight gain is due to their high-fat content. However, it is important to note that nuts contain unsaturated fats, which are considered healthy fats and can have positive effects on blood cholesterol levels and heart health.

Furthermore, the almond-supplemented diets showed statistically significant changes in atherogenic lipoprotein subfractions, which could lead to improved cardiometabolic health in the long term. Additionally, nuts have the added benefit of promoting feelings of fullness, assisting in weight management.

These findings provide further evidence that dietitians and nutritionists can confidently recommend almonds as part of a balanced weight loss diet. The New Zealand Heart Foundation recommends consuming three to four small handfuls of nuts and seeds per week to reduce the risk of heart disease, noting that higher intakes may yield additional heart health benefits. Contrary to popular belief, eating nuts is not associated with weight gain. In fact, nuts’ protein, fat, and dietary fiber content helps individuals feel satisfied after meals and may reduce overall food intake.

With obesity rates on the rise globally, including in Australia and New Zealand, incorporating almonds into weight loss plans could prove to be a beneficial strategy for individuals seeking to improve their health and manage their weight effectively.

– University of South Australia
– Obesity journal
– Almond Board of California
– New Zealand Heart Foundation

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