More than 70 percent of Americans are overweight or obese.1 From a health perspective, being overweight increases the risk for serious conditions like diabetes, stroke, cancer, and heart disease. Losing weight and maintaining weight control typically involve a combination of diet and exercise. In this article, we’ll look at diet, and specifically, how almonds can be an effective tool in weight control.
When considering foods that are good for weight loss, almonds should be at the top of the list. Many people mistakenly avoid almonds and other nuts, thinking that eating them will cause weight gain. While it is true that nuts have a higher calorie count and fat content than many other snacks, in nutrition terms, not all fats are created equal, and a calorie is not simply a calorie. In fact, research has shown that 20% of the calories in almonds are not actually even absorbed by the body2, so the calorie count on nutrition labels is actually higher than what your body is using.
On the matter of nutrient quality, not only are some snacks not good for you, some are just downright bad. The idea of “empty calories” doesn’t necessarily mean that a food is neutral – sometimes it can be harmful.
Potato chips, for example, can be a nice indulgence, but you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who would suggest that daily consumption of them leads to good health. And in fact, eating them daily can lead to substantial weight gain.3
Almonds, on the other hand, are a nutritional wonder. If you missed our last post, we looked at many of the evidence-based health benefits of almonds when eating them every day. Though ounce per ounce, almonds do have a higher caloric content than potato chips and are higher in fat, they have actually been shown to help with weight loss.
In 2021, a scientific review was conducted of 62 studies of the effect of almonds on weight. Among the findings was that not only are almonds one of the best snacks for weight loss, but even in comparison to other nuts such as pistachios, walnuts, and peanuts, only almonds decreased body and fat mass.3
Why are almonds good for weight loss?
One of the ways that almonds help with weight control is by suppressing appetite. When eaten as a mid-morning or mid-afternoon snack, almonds have shown to be effective at maintaining a sense of fullness between meals, and in reducing portion size at mealtime. One study observed that eating almonds is effective at suppressing the desire for high-fat foods.4
Another way that almonds help with weight control is by replacing nutritionally inferior foods with high-quality calories. Almonds are a great source of protein, dietary fiber, and monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Particularly when almonds replace snacks that are higher in carbohydrates, such as cereal bars, potato chips, pretzels, or cookies, which are more conducive to weight gain, they are effective in helping to maintain or lose weight.
Apart from being a great snack to assist in weight loss, when eaten daily, there are many other demonstrated health benefits of almonds. Whether as a workout snack, an office snack, or for in-between meals they are a super healthy option to keep around.
This article was written by SPIRIT Almond. We created what we think are the best flavored almonds out there – all-natural, plant-based, and super flavorful…but not over-seasoned. We believe in the almond so much that we built an entire brand around it, and we want to spread the word.
**Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is based on publicly available research and journalistic writings, and is provided for informational purposes only. Medical and nutritional decisions should be made in consultation with one’s own trusted medical professionals
- 1National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2017–March 2020 Prepandemic Data Files Development of Files and Prevalence Estimates for Selected Health Outcomes
- Personal Author(s) : Stierman, Bryan;Afful, Joseph;Carroll, Margaret D.;Chen, Te-Ching;Davy, Orlando;Fink, Steven;Fryar, Cheryl D.;Gu, Qiuping;Hales, Craig M.;Hughes, Jeffery P.;Ostchega, Yechiam;Storandt, Renee J.;Akinbami, Lara J.;
- 2Nishi, Stephanie K et al. “Almond Bioaccessibility in a Randomized Crossover Trial: Is a Calorie a Calorie?.” Mayo Clinic proceedings vol. 96,9 (2021): 2386-2397. doi:10.1016/j.mayocp.2021.01.026
- 3Dreher, Mark L. “A Comprehensive Review of Almond Clinical Trials on Weight Measures, Metabolic Health Biomarkers and Outcomes, and the Gut Microbiota.” Nutrients vol. 13,6 1968. 8 Jun. 2021, doi:10.3390/nu13061968
- 4Hollingworth, Sophie et al. “Evaluation of the Influence of Raw Almonds on Appetite Control: Satiation, Satiety, Hedonics and Consumer Perceptions.” Nutrients vol. 11,9 2030. 30 Aug. 2019, doi:10.3390/nu11092030