Almonds deserve credit for being tiny superfoods. According to most food experts, they are packed with loads of nutrients and are among the healthiest of food choices. They are the star of the nut show, and perhaps this is why there is a National Almond Day. One of the most significant benefits of these superfoods is weight loss. We all know how hard and draining weight loss can become. With that in mind, consuming such a superfood can help quicken results. But how do they work? This read will discuss how almonds promote weight loss, their health benefits, and the recommended servings and time to have almonds for weight loss. Let us get started.
What Are Almonds?
Although they are classified as nuts, almonds are the edible seeds of the almond tree. They come in different sizes, shapes, and colors, explaining the different varieties (10). They are incredible foods with a string of health benefits.
Nutritional Information Of Almonds
The nutritional information of these nuts varies depending on the serving. A one-ounce serving (about 28.4 g) has the following nutrients (7):
- Calories- 164
- Carbohydrates- 6.1 g (1.2 g is sugar)
- Fat- 14.2 g (12.4 g is unsaturated)
- Protein- 6 g
- Fiber- 3.5 g
It’s helpful to understand the nutritional content of your almond servings to determine your proper portion size. For example, you need to know the carbohydrate, fiber, and protein serving in almonds because they profoundly impact weight.
Similarly, it would help to watch out for the nutritional labels of foods containing almonds like almond milk, butter, or flour. They have nutrients with a % Daily Value (%DV), which contributes to daily nutrient consumption. %DV refers to the percentage of the Daily Value of each nutrient you acquire from a food serving.
What Are The Health Benefits Of Almonds For Weight Loss?
Reduced Cholesterol Levels
Almonds have high-fat levels, but they are in unsaturated form (7). One ounce of almonds (28.4 g) contains 12.4 grams of unsaturated fat and no cholesterol (7). Unsaturated fat is beneficial to your health because it has been linked to a reduced level of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) or “bad” cholesterol (7).
Too much LDL cholesterol in your body makes fats and other substances build up in the inner parts of your arteries, creating plaque (6). Plaque makes your arteries clog and narrow, which in turn restricts blood flow.
The decreased blood flow is associated with angina or chest pain, shortness of breath, and signs and symptoms of coronary artery disease (3). In addition, when plaque builds entirely in your arteries, causing a complete blockage, you may suffer from a heart attack (3).
One of the most common myths about cholesterol is that only obese and overweight individuals have high cholesterol levels. However, that is not the case. According to the American Heart Association, individuals of any age and body shape can have high cholesterol levels (6).
Blood Sugar Levels Control
Scientific evidence also suggests that eating almonds can help with managing blood sugar levels. For example, an individual with type 2 diabetes may also happen to have low magnesium levels. Magnesium deficiency makes it difficult to control blood sugar levels and has been linked to insulin resistance (7).
Insulin resistance occurs when you become resistant to the effects of insulin which reduces your cells’ ability to absorb and use blood sugar for energy (8). It generally does not present any symptoms until you develop diabetes (8).
Other risk factors for insulin resistance include overweight or obesity, a sedentary lifestyle, high cholesterol and blood pressure, inadequate sleep, smoking, and alcohol consumption (8). Luckily, eating almonds can help manage your blood sugar levels and may reduce the risk of insulin resistance and associated weight gain.
Increased Vitamin E Levels
Almonds have been found to contain high levels of vitamin E (7). One almond ounce (28.4 grams) provides 7.27 mg of this vitamin (7). Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin that your body requires to perform several functions.
Some of these include reducing cancer risk due to its antioxidant properties and helping with gene expression, immune functioning and cell signaling (9). Research also shows that vitamin E may help prevent coronary heart disease and eye disorders (9).
As mentioned earlier, vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin. People who do not get enough of it from foods may be advised to take vitamin E supplements. However there are health risks associated with vitamin E supplementation and vitamin E supplements can react with several common medications, so you should always discuss with your healthcare provider before taking any supplements (9).
Eating almonds for their vitamin E content can help you get enough vitamin E from your diet without having to use supplements.
Improved Heart Health
Almonds contain heart-healthy monounsaturated fats and lipids that can benefit your heart in several heart ways. According to Medical News Today, almonds have been found to increase antioxidants in the bloodstream which reduced blood pressure and improved blood flow (7).
High blood pressure can damage your arteries by making them less elastic, leading to reduced blood flow and oxygen to the heart. As a result, you have an increased risk of chest pain (angina), heart failure, heart attacks, and heart disease (5).
According to WebMD, scientific evidence recommends but does not prove that eating 1.5 ounces of almonds daily can reduce heart disease risk. This is because it is low in cholesterol and saturated fat (1). Epidemiological studies show that eating roughly one ounce of almonds daily over time may reduce your heart disease risk by 30% (1).
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Medical News Today also reveals that eating almonds can boost bone health due to their high content of nutrients that contribute to bone health. These are nutrients like copper, calcium, manganese, magnesium, zinc, protein, and vitamin K (7).
Bone health is important because, most importantly, it makes our bones strong to support our daily movements. Additionally, strong bones improve balance and protect our brain, heart, and other organs from injury. It also reduces the risk of falls and diseases like osteoporosis.
Better Weight Control
And finally, the most important benefit for most dieters: weight management. You might have seen the debate on walnuts or almonds for weight loss. It has been ongoing for the longest time now because dieters cannot help but question which are the best nuts for weight loss.
All nuts can help with weight loss, and almonds are no exception. They are believed to promote weight loss since they have low carbs and high levels of healthy fats, protein, and fiber (7). In addition, high protein levels help encourage weight loss by increasing satiety.
Increased satiety significantly reduces your eating patterns and behavior, helping you create and maintain a calorie deficit for weight loss. Healthy fats, on the other hand, promote weight loss by controlling your appetite. Even so, it would help if you still consumed these fats in moderation to avoid a calorie surplus.
Fiber is one of the essential nutrients for weight loss. It increases feelings of fullness, making you eat less food. This leads to weight loss because you consume fewer calories, and weight loss is all about consuming fewer calories than your body is burning.
As mentioned earlier, there are different varieties of almonds based on their differences in shape, size, and color. Well, all types can be a valuable part of a weight loss diet. In fact, so can all other types of nuts.
Evidence For Weight Loss
Several studies have been conducted over time to help determine the benefits of eating almonds for weight loss. Some studies have even gone to the extent of comparing and contrasting the effectiveness of almonds for weight loss with other foods. Here are some examples:
A 2003 study was conducted to evaluate the effect of an almond-enriched high monounsaturated fat (MUFA) diet on weight loss in contrast to a high carbohydrate diet. Both diets were low-calorie. In addition, the study assessed the impact of the two diets on metabolic variables, body composition, and other anthropometric factors (2).
The participants for this study were overweight and obese adults. After conducting their investigation, the researchers discovered that all participants had shed pounds. However, those following the almond enriched diet had lost more weight and fat, and had improvements in several metabolic parameters (2).
So, the study concluded that an almond-enriched diet could help reduce metabolic syndrome abnormalities and lead to sustained and more significant weight reduction in the long run (2).
Another study was conducted to determine how eating raw almonds helps with appetite control and satiety. In the 2019 study, researchers compared these effects when almonds are consumed as a mid-morning snack as opposed to crackers or water (4).
So, the researchers used 42 female participants and gave them a fixed breakfast, followed by one of the three mid-morning snacks. After the study analysis, researchers discovered that participants reported a lower hunger drive after consuming their almonds mid-morning snack when compared with crackers or water (4).
Additionally, the researchers found that almonds suppressed hedonic preferences or implicit wanting for high-fat foods due to a higher satiety quotient (4). So, in conclusion, the researchers perceived almonds to be effective in weight management by controlling appetite compared to other energy matched snacks (4).
How To Consume Almonds For Weight Loss
Thanks to the versatility of these nuts, there are so many ways to have them. However, if you want to lose weight and reap the associated health benefits, food experts suggest you try the following options (10):
- Almond Milk. Almonds are used to make almond milk, which is a great dairy alternative. Since this milk is not obtained from animals, it has no cholesterol and has fewer calories, especially if unsweetened (10). You can choose to drink it straight, in your coffee, or with your cereal.
- Almond Butter. Almonds are also used to make weight loss-friendly almond butter. You can use this butter as you use peanut butter. So, you can have it on a sandwich or with apple slices or celery sticks or stir it in your oatmeal.
- Almond Flour. Almond flour is made from almonds, and it can be used as a gluten-free and grain-free flour alternative. You can use it to make pancakes, scones, pasta, biscuits, gluten-free cookies, and many more items.
- As They Are. Another excellent option to have almonds is as they are. They make great snack options if you have them raw, roasted, or sprouted. Unlike potato chips, almonds are healthier snack options in the right portion sizes, making them effective for weight loss.
- Green Smoothie. You already know that green smoothies are among the healthiest weight loss smoothies. It is prepared from healthy vegetables, a bunch of fruits, seeds, and nuts. Adding almonds or almond butter to your green smoothie transforms this healthy drink into a weight loss monster beverage.
- In Various Foods. Of course, you can add or use almonds to prepare various meals. Luckily, there is no shortage of almond recipes online, meaning you will not struggle to determine creative ways to have these nuts. You will find them in savory, spicy, sweet, or baked recipes. It now comes down to your preferences.
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What Is The Best Time To Eat Almonds For Weight Loss?
Most food experts suggest having almonds as a between-meal snack to help you lose weight effectively by controlling hunger. It might explain why participants had almonds as a mid-morning snack in one of the studies we evaluated earlier.
However, you are not limited to having almonds only as a mid-morning snack. As discussed above, you can also have them in your oatmeal, smoothies, or in your coffee using almond milk. They can be incorporated into any meal or snack at any time of the day.
What Is The Best Serving Of Almonds For Weight Loss?
There are many questions and searches online about the healthy serving size of almonds. As we all know, you need to consume a proper portion that keeps you within your daily calorie requirements. In most particular studies, participants consume 1 ounce of almonds per day.
Likewise, most health and nutrition websites use 1 ounce as their standard almond serving. So, it is safe to say that you can aim to have a one ounce serving of almonds, as often as every day.
The Bottom Line
What are the benefits of having almonds for weight loss? There are several. They include better heart and bone health, reduced cholesterol and high blood pressure, and increased vitamin E levels. You can have almonds in different ways, and all help promote weight loss due to their high fiber, healthy fats, and protein content.
This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on for decision-making. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!
- Almonds May Help in Weight Loss (2003, webmd.com)
- Almonds vs complex carbohydrates in a weight reduction program (2003, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Coronary artery disease (2020, mayoclinic.org)
- Evaluation of the Influence of Raw Almonds on Appetite Control: Satiation, Satiety, Hedonics and Consumer Perceptions (2019, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- High Blood Pressure Symptoms and Causes (2021, cdc.gov)
- Take Action. Live Healthy! (2020, American Heart Association)
- The health benefits of almonds (2019, medicalnewstoday.com)
- What to know about insulin resistance (2019, medicalnewstoday.com)
- What to know about vitamin E (2021, medicalnewstoday.com)
- Why Are Almonds Good for Me? (2021, webmd.com)