Crack the nutty code: Enjoy almonds for weight loss and heart wellness

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almonds-support-weight-loss-and-heart-health(NaturalHealth365) Conventionally speaking, nuts – such as almonds, pecans, and pistachios – have long been a diet “no-no” for those trying to lose weight.  The point of contention is the high fat content.  While nuts don’t have carbs, they tend to be loaded with fat, which many people feel is counterintuitive to weight loss efforts – more of a self-sabotage than a slenderizing snack.

However, a new study has revealed that those doctors, dieticians, and, yes, even researchers have all been wrong.  Research suggests that almonds may not be such dietary villains after all.

How science is flipping the calorie script

Almonds are a nutrient-dense food that outperforms its caloric and fat content.  One ounce of almonds provides:

  • 164 calories
  • 6 grams carbs
  • 6 grams protein
  • 4 grams fiber
  • 14 grams fat
    • 5% saturated fat
    • 15% polyunsaturated fat
    • 80% monounsaturated fat

Sadly, for many uninformed people, that 14 grams of fat usually puts the brakes on that snack.  Coupled with the high calories, almonds got a really bad name.  But, in truth, most of the fat being “demonized” in the media comes from research supported by the sugar industry.  This whole story is for another day … but, for now, keep reading about the research.

Scientists at the University of South Australia set out to get to the bottom of the almond conundrum and do a little reputation repair.  They studied two groups of dieters.  One group regularly consumed 30 to 50 grams of whole, natural, unsalted almonds a day, while the other group completely abstained from nuts of any kind.

At the end of the nine-month study, both groups had experienced an approximate 9.3% reduction in body weight.

Snacking smarter with almonds: Your key to weight management and heart happiness

The participants who were in the group that supplemented their diet with almonds not only lost weight but also experienced significant changes that boosted heart health.  This is due to the high fat content in almonds.  These healthy fats can help to decrease inflammation, improve cholesterol, and benefit cardiometabolic health.

In addition, the fiber in almonds helps to keep your digestive tract working as it should.  It also can help you feel fuller longer.  This is a real help for those who want to lose weight but battle frequent hunger pangs.  Snacking on a serving of almonds can help to decrease your food cravings and reduce the feeling of hunger.

Crunch your way to better health: Clever tips for incorporating almonds into your diet

Including almonds in your diet isn’t difficult at all.  The dieters in the study consumed 30 to 50 grams of almonds a day, which is about 2 to 4 tablespoons.  You can add almonds to your diet with these easy tips:

  • Eat them plain.  Measure two to four tablespoons of whole, organic, unsalted almonds and enjoy them as a snack.
  • Top your sweet potato with them.  Chop organic almonds and add them with cinnamon and monk fruit or a dash of molasses.
  • Mix them into your next salad.  Add your fruit of choice and sprinkle some chopped almonds on top.
  • Toss with some garlic powder, onion powder, and a touch of cayenne for a savory treat.
  • Combine chopped apples, chopped almonds, and a sprinkling of cinnamon for a tasty, healthy snack.

Store-bought almond milk and almond butter are good, but many have hidden sugar and oil that rob them of their natural health benefits.  Ensure you read the nutrition label and ingredients list before adding these items to your diet.  Or, you could make your own almond milk or butter.

Find creative ways to incorporate almonds into your daily meal plans and reap the healthy benefits!

Sources for this article include:

OnlineLibrary.Wiley.com
USDA.gov


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