Even if most of us know that almonds should be avoided whenever one takes up a weight loss program, as these particular aliments are overloaded with calories and fats, a recent study showed the opposite thing: that almonds must not be overlooked in a diet as they are very beneficial and help people shed weight. The research was conducted by a team of experts at the Purdue University and funded by the Almond Board of California.
Presenting their findings at the North American Association for the Study of Obesity: The Obesity Society Annual Scientific Meeting 2006, researchers involved in the current study presented the benefits of eating one or two handfuls of almonds daily. Besides the fact that these aliments are overloaded with magnesium, vitamin E and antioxidant flavonoids, they also give consumers the satiety sensation and prevent them from eating more than they should. This is why in their speech medical experts at the Purdue University pointed out the fact that almonds may be very useful in weight management, as they help an individual stick to the wanted body weight.
The study was conducted on 20 women with BMIs higher than normal - between 25 and 30, which makes them be classified as 'overweight' persons. The diet of these 20 overweight women has been supplemented for a 10-week period with 2 servings of almonds per day. Each serving of almonds contained 300 calories. However, not all women who volunteered for the study had their diets supplemented with almonds at the same time. Participants were divided into two groups, with women in the first group eating for 10 weeks the recommended servings of almonds and then no almonds and women in the second group who did not receive almond servings for 10 weeks and then started to consume almonds.
Overall results of the study showed that women in the almond supplementation group felt full, did not experience hunger during the 10 week period and no change in their weight, BMI or body fat was found. This means that almonds do not cause one to gain weight; instead, they give the individual the satiety sensation and keep him from overeating.
The findings of the study have been published in the International Journal of Obesity Journal. Lead researcher of the study Richard Mattes stated: "We concluded that the women found their daily almond snack to be very filling, and so they naturally compensated in their caloric intake at other times of the day." Study researcher Michelle Wien, DrPH, RD, CDE, Clinical Dietitian and research fellow at City of Hope National Medical Center in Duarte, California added: "In order to be satisfied, there is a need to eat foods that contain fiber, protein, and fat, and nuts definitely qualify in that regard."