This article is reviewed by a team of registered dietitians and medical doctors with extensive, practical clinical and public health experience.
Are Almonds Good For Weight Loss? 6 Surprising Benefits [AU] 2023
Almonds are packed full of healthy fats and are a great source of protein. They are an excellent nutrient-dense food source, making them a great option for a healthy snack or an addition to any main meal.
Due to the nutritional composition of almonds, they offer several health benefits. Does this mean almonds are good for weight loss? Keep reading to discover how these healthy nuts can be part of your weight loss journey.
Are Almonds Healthy For Weight Loss?
What Are Almonds?
Almonds are tree nuts and are grown on almond trees, also known as Prunus dulcis. Almonds originated in south-central Asia and grew in Mediterranean climates. Almonds were first discovered around 5.88 million years ago.
Most almonds are commercially cultivated today, but roughly 30 wild species still exist. While almonds have evidently been popular for many years, consumer demand has grown over the past 10 years. California is the largest producer globally, accounting for 65% of the world’s almond production.
The increased popularity is attributed to the nutritional benefits of almonds. While almonds can be eaten whole and raw, they are frequently bought pre-roasted and seasoned and can be pre-halved or sliced.
Many other almond products, such as almond milk, almond butter, and almond paste, are also available.
Almonds Weight Loss
Almonds are a great source of healthy monounsaturated fats and also contain healthy polyunsaturated fat. They contain many essential vitamins and minerals and are a source of dietary fiber, phytosterols, and polyphenols.
Consuming monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats in place of saturated fat is recommended by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans as part of a healthy lifestyle.
Further, there has been research that has shown nuts, despite being energy dense, do not cause weight gain but rather promote weight loss and fat loss by decreasing insulin resistance.
Do Almonds Help You Lose Weight?
As almonds are a source of monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats, consuming almonds can be part of a healthy diet. Eating a healthy diet will assist in both losing weight and maintaining a healthy weight.
Is almond butter good for weight loss? Almond butter also contains healthy unsaturated fats. Consuming almond butter can be part of a healthy diet if consumed in moderation alongside a variety of whole foods.
Nutrition Facts Of Almonds
As mentioned above, almonds are highly nutritious. The specific nutrition facts are listed below.
Nutrition facts for a one-quarter cup of unroasted and unseasoned whole almonds (36 grams):
- Energy (calories): 207 kilocalories
- Protein: 7.5 grams
- Fat: 17.85 grams
- Saturated Fat: 1.36 grams
- Monounsaturated Fat: 11.3 grams
- Polyunsaturated Fat: 4.4 grams
- Carbohydrates: 7.73 grams
- Fiber: 4.48 grams
- Sugars: 1.56
- Calcium: 96.25 milligrams
- Magnesium: 96.5 milligrams
- Phosphorous: 172 milligrams
- Potassium: 262.5 milligrams
- Sodium: 0.36 milligrams
- Folate: 15.73 micrograms
- Vitamin E: 9.15 micrograms
As listed above, almonds are a great source of monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats and are low in saturated fats. While almonds are energy dense, meaning they are high in calories, they are low in sugar and provide a source of dietary fiber, which is a complex carbohydrate.
While unseasoned almonds are low in sodium, almonds that have been seasoned or salted will have more sodium.
Benefits Of Eating Almonds
Almonds are a good source of monounsaturated fats, which are known for their heart health benefits. Consuming monounsaturated fats lowers LDL cholesterol, also known as bad cholesterol, therefore lowering your risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke.
Research has shown that monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats in place of saturated fat and trans fatty acids are associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes. This is due to unsaturated fat consumption being associated with improved insulin sensitivity.
A recent analysis of two large studies in 2019 found similar findings. It showed individuals with type 2 diabetes who had higher intakes of polyunsaturated fat had a lower risk of mortality. This indicates unsaturated fat consumption is beneficial for those living with diabetes.
As nuts and seeds are excellent sources of unsaturated fats, almonds are ideal foods to consume.
High Blood Pressure Management
Another heart health-related benefit of almonds is they are a great source of magnesium, calcium, and potassium.
The 2020 International Society of Hypertension Global Hypertension Practice Guidelines reports consuming foods high in magnesium, calcium, and potassium, such as almonds and other nuts, is protective against high blood pressure.
A 2020 journal article summarized the findings presented at a scientific symposium on understanding satiety: It indicated that due to almonds being digested slowly, they could likely promote satiety, decreasing appetite when you feel hungry.
Researchers found the ability of almonds to control appetite is linked to the protein, fiber, and fat content. While protein and fiber’s influence on appetite is well-established, more research is needed on how almonds assist with appetite control and affect weight.
A large 2021 review study of 64 randomized controlled trials summarized the association between consuming almonds and gut microbiota. Gut microbiota is important because they can impact the risk of developing obesity and chronic diseases, such as metabolic syndrome and diabetes.
The review reports that, although further investigation in this area is needed, early research has found almonds promote microflora diversity, leading to improved colonic microbiota health.
Almonds are also an excellent source of vitamin E, 45% DV in an ounce. Vitamin E is an essential micronutrient and has antioxidant activity.
Antioxidants protect our cells from being damaged by free radicals, the toxic debris of metabolism that result in aging. This is important because free radical cell damage, besides changes seen in aging, also leads to the development of heart disease and cancers.
Consuming adequate amounts of vitamin E daily is essential to a healthy diet.
Due to its nutrient density, i.e., calories, one main risk is weight gain when not eating almonds in moderation. Another main risk of eating almonds is potentially consuming high amounts of sodium. If you purchase almonds that are pre-seasoned or salted, there is a potential for you to consume high amounts of sodium.
While seasoned almonds can still be considered healthy nuts, too much sodium can negatively affect health. Too much sodium can lead to high blood pressure, other cardiovascular and heart disease, and stroke.
Be sure to read the nutrition label and avoid eating too many salted almonds. The American Heart Association recommends consuming no more than 140 milligrams of salt in one serving. You should not consume more than 2300 milligrams of salt in one day, and 1500 milligrams a day is considered ideal by the AHA.
How To Eat Almonds For Weight Loss
Eating almonds for weight loss means eating them as part of a healthy diet. A weight loss diet is really no different than a balanced diet.
Consuming a variety of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, healthy fats, and lean proteins are all essential parts of a healthy lifestyle and can help you achieve or maintain a healthy body weight.
Adding almonds to your diet is a great way to get healthy fats and a plant-based protein source into your diet. Enjoy almonds in many delicious ways by incorporating them into your diet in various ways, whether you are snacking on almonds or adding them to main meals.
- Spread almond butter on a piece of whole wheat toast.
- Use almond milk to make a protein-rich breakfast smoothie.
- Add sliced almonds to oatmeal or porridge to add some crunch.
- Toss sliced almonds into any green salad you choose.
- Top roasted chicken with almond slivers to add a satisfying crunch.
- Make gluten-free, vegetarian quinoa with almonds as the protein source.
- Grab a handful of roasted almonds for a mid-afternoon snack.
- Roast your almonds at home using your favorite seasoning mix.
- Use almond butter to make nutrient-rich energy balls that you can eat on the go.
- Make homemade trail mix with almonds.
- Make homemade granola bars with almonds halves.
How Many Almonds To Eat Per Day For Weight Loss?
An ideal serving of almonds daily is one-fourth of a cup. Eating one-fourth cup of almonds in your daily diet is unnecessary to lose weight, but doing so includes them as part of an overall healthy diet. Remember, moderation and variety are the keys to any diet.
Almonds are highly nutritious. Consuming almonds is a fantastic way to ensure you get many of the nutrients almonds are high in, such as monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, magnesium, potassium, calcium, and fiber.
Eating almonds can be part of anyone’s weight loss journey and could even assist with satiety and appetite control. Just remember to be mindful of the sodium content if you choose to consume pre-seasoned and salted almonds to ensure you to eat too much salt.
And don’t neglect moderation–too much of a good thing may not be so good, but doing almonds just right is very good for you.
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