These days, apart from controlling what you eat and how much exercise you do, there are many different remedies that people follow to lose weight. Now, believe it or not, researchers from the University of Southern Australia have found that a small snack of almonds can help cut back on the number of calories a person consumes each day which, eventually, helps you lose weight.
Published in the European Journal of Nutrition, the study found that people who consumer almonds, as opposed to an energy equivalent carbohydrate snack, lowered their energy intake by 300 kilojoules (kJ) (most of which came from junk food) at the subsequent meal. The study reports that a person only needs to consume 30-50 grammes of almonds to achieve this effect on their body.
The study was led by Dr Sharayah Carter from University of Southern Australia’s Alliance for Research in Exercise, Nutrition and Activity (ARENA). The research provides valuable insights for weight management. Dr Carter says that the “rates of overweight and obesity are a major public health concern and modulating appetite through better hormonal response may be key to promoting weight management.”
“Our research examined the hormones that regulate appetite and how nuts, specifically almonds, might contribute to appetite control. We found that people who ate almonds experienced changes in their appetite-regulating hormones, and these may have contributed to reduced food intake (by 300kJ),” she further explains.
Results of the study indicated that people who ate almonds had 47% lower C-peptide responses (which can improve insulin sensitivity and reduce the risk of developing diabetes and cardiovascular disease) and higher levels of glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (18% higher), glucagon (39% higher) and pancreatic polypeptide responses (44% higher). Glucagon sends safety signals to the brain, while pancreatic polypeptide slows digestion which may reduce food intake, both encouraging weight loss.
According to Dr Carter, since “almonds are high in protein, fibre and unsaturated fatty acids, (these attributes) may contribute to their satiating properties and help explain why fewer kilojoules were consumed.”
While this was a relatively small study, the findings show that eating almonds produces small changes to people’s energy intake and Dr Carter believes that the findings may have clinical effects in the long term.
“Even small, positive lifestyle changes can have an impact over a longer period. When we’re making small, sustainable changes, we’re more likely to be improving our overall health in the long run. Almonds are a fantastic healthy snack to incorporate into the daily diet. We are now excited to look at how almonds might affect appetite during a weight loss diet and how they might assist with weight management in the long term.”