Tuesday, 15 July 2014
Cut Hunger Pangs With Almonds
Are you a bit of a grazer? If so, you aren’t alone. An estimated 97% of British people are reported to be munching their way through at least one snack a day – a habit that is linking more and more of us to obesity and weight gain.
But, not all snacking is bad and one food that we are encouraged to eat is almonds. Full of vitamin E, manganese and magnesium, these sweet nuts are high in monounsaturated fats – the same health-promoting fats that are found in heart disease-reducing olive oil. They have also been proven to reduce hunger without increasing our waistlines. Result! But where’s the research?
Dr Richard Mattes, professor of nutrition science at Purdue University, Indiana undertook some research into the benefits of snacking on almonds. He claimed that, “Almonds may be a good snack option, especially for those concerned about weight.”
Here’s a closer look into Dr Mattes’ research which involved each volunteer eating around 30 individual nuts a day.
Researchers at Purdue University, Indiana conducted a four-week trial to investigate the effects of eating almonds on weight and appetite. This study involved 137 adults with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes. The participants were divided into five groups: a control group that avoided all nuts and seeds; a group that ate 1.5oz of almonds at breakfast, and one that ate the nuts at lunch; a group that snacked on them in the morning, and one that ate them in the afternoon. The volunteers were not given any other rules other than to follow their usual eating patterns and physical activity.
The study showed that eating 1.5oz of dry-roasted, lightly salted almonds every day reduced volunteers’ hunger, improved their Vitamin E levels and ‘good’ fat intake. It also did not cause them to pile on the pounds. Even though they were eating approximately 250 calories a day in the form of the almonds, they did not eat any more calories overall.
Eating almonds also reduced hunger levels and increased the feeling of fullness in both normal and overweight people. Almonds have also previously been shown to increase the feeling of fullness which thought to be due to the high fibre, protein and monounsaturated fat content within almonds.
Further health benefits of almonds
Not only do almonds taste great, curb hunger and fill us full of good vitamins, they have also been attributed to decreasing our risk of liver cancer. This is largely down to the vitamin E within them which can also help protect our bodies against heart disease and eye damage. Further research has also shown that they can help prevent diabetes as they help improve insulin sensitivity and reduce cholesterol levels.
It is important to note, however, that all nuts are very high in fat so they should be enjoyed in calorie controlled portions.
Munchies tip: Weigh out a small amount of nuts at home and bring a portion to work with you each day. This will stop you from scoffing more than the recommended daily amount
Mind Over Munchies; Jessica Attinger