For years, weight loss fads have come and gone, highlighting an important trend in society: people often want to lose weight. And there is often good reason to want to lose weight; for example, obesity can lead to a number of chronic conditions, such as diabetes and heart disease, that significantly impact a person’s quality of life.
Given the benefits of maintaining a healthy weight, many people often wonder how they can best shed extra weight. More exercise? Fewer calories? Different foods?
A new study conducted by researchers at the University of South Australia suggests that adding almonds to a diet could be a powerful tool to help you cut calories and help with your weight loss goals. The study is published in a recent article in the European Journal of Nutrition.
Almonds have long been known for having a range of health benefits. For example, they are rich in mono- and polyunsaturated fats, which have both been linked to reducing the risk of heart disease in people. But they are also very high in calories. In the context of losing weight, it might seem counterintuitive to eat foods with so many calories. But researchers found that almonds are more than just calories; eating 30-50 grams of almonds (or about a half cup) could help curb your appetite and help you eat fewer kilojoules (or calories) in a day.
The secret to almonds’ weight loss potential lies in the effect almonds have on hormones that affect our appetite. For example, during the study, researchers found that participants who ate almonds had a nearly 50% reduction in C-peptide responses, which helps improve the body’s response to insulin. These participants also saw an increase in glucagon, pancreatic polypeptide responses, and more. The combined effect of these hormones can help affect a person’s appetite and even slow digestion, meaning that you are more likely to eat less in a day.
Essentially, almonds change how much energy we put into our bodies. While it may seem like a small change now, these small changes can have lasting effects that can offer important changes to our overall health over time.
Sources: Science Daily; European Journal of Nutrition