You might be feeling confused about whether to eat nuts or not for health benefits and weight loss, and that’s understandable as there are many mixed messages about how many nuts to actually eat each day. Let’s take a look at the almighty almonds for weight loss to get a better understanding of these pretty delicious nuts.
Nutrients in Almonds
Before we answer a common question on almonds and weight loss, it’s important to know the incredible nutrition and benefits of almonds for a healthy diet and a healthy body.
Almonds boast an impressive nutrient profile, containing:
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin B2
Benefits in Almonds
Healthy Skin – Almonds for healthy skin are a great addition to daily nutrition. Biotin is phenomenal for skin health as it helps to build healthy fats in the skin which supports the skin to be supple and moist which prevents the skin from becoming dry, flaky and irritated. Vitamin E is a potent antioxidant that helps to protect against damage to the fats that line the outside of every single cell of our body, including the skin. Manganese is key for skin integrity as it helps to make collagen as a structural component of skin, which makes it very important for everyday skin health. Copper is also essential in manufacturing collagen and helps to build healthy tissue.
Healthy Brain Function – The high levels of vitamin E help the brain to function at its best.
High in Protein – Almonds are a great source of plant-powered protein. They contain approximately 7 grams of protein per 35 grams serving. Alongside the protein, they are packed with nutrients which make them a delicious snack alongside fruit or a topping on your morning porridge.
Provide Energy – Almonds are a very good source of copper and vitamin B2 which are excellent nutrients in helping to promote energy production. Copper helps with incorporating iron into red blood cells and generates energy from carbohydrates inside of cells. Vitamin B2 plays a key role in energy production such as its part join in the metabolism of fat molecules into useful energy for the body.
Help Support Weight Loss – Almonds can be beneficial with supporting healthy weight loss, or rather fat loss, in the body. As nuts are satiating due to the fat, protein and nutrient content, they can help avoid overeating throughout the day. This is a huge benefit for you if maintaining a healthy body composition is your focus. This study of 108 overweight and obese women shows that those consuming almonds lost more body fat than those on a nut-free diet. They also showed improvements in waist circumference and other health markers.
Do Almonds Make You Gain Weight?
Aside from the incredible benefits listed above, almonds can help with weight loss, however, sometimes they can make you gain weight too. Sounds confusing, right? To keep it simple, almonds are packed with nutrients that will help the body to feel satiated after consuming them. Due to the fat, protein and nutrient-dense content they can help the body to feel satisfied, and work even better when eaten alongside healthy carbohydrate-rich foods such as fruit for a delicious health packed snack.
The problem is when nuts are eaten mindlessly. Take a look at your whole day of eating, if you are not eating enough food overall then your body is going to be hungry, so when eating some nuts it is easy to eat too many of them as they are so small and seem “innocent” enough. Bear in mind they are packed with fats so the calories will be higher than you probably imagine. It can be easy to overeat a huge bag of almonds carelessly and consume a gigantic amount of calories. This slowly adds up over time if done on a regular basis and can lead to weight gain.
However, when eating mindfully and creating a healthy balanced approach to your daily diet it can be easy and simple to enjoy a small handful of nuts for enjoyment and health benefits.
This study based on almonds vs complex carbohydrates in a weight reduction program showed:
Our findings suggest that an almond-enriched LCD improves a preponderance of the abnormalities associated with the metabolic syndrome. Both dietary interventions were effective in decreasing body weight beyond the weight loss observed during long-term pharmacological interventions; however, the almond-LCD group experienced a sustained and greater weight reduction for the duration of the 24-week intervention. – Pub Med
To summarise, almonds can be part of a healthy diet and help to aid weight loss when eating in moderation alongside a varied diet of other healthy foods. Even though they are high in calories, they help to satiate the body which makes it easier for the body to signal to the brain that you are satisfied with the food you are eating without overeating.