Recommended by Cynthia Sass, MPH, RD, Author of S.A.S.S. Yourself Slim
Weight loss rewards! In a recent study dieters who ate almonds daily experienced a 62% greater reduction in their body weight, a 50% greater loss in waist circumference, and a 56% greater loss of body fat compared to the group following a similar diet without almonds.
Prevention of weight gain. A 28-month Spanish study involving more than eight thousand men and women found that those who ate nuts (including almonds) at least two times per week were 31% less likely to gain weight than people who never or rarely ate nuts.
Appetite control. A study from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center reported that saturated fat (found in products like butter, milk, cheese and beef) may signal the body’s cells to ignore appetite-suppressing signals, but that the healthy unsaturated fat found in almonds does not. One serving of almonds has 13 g of unsaturated fat and only 1 g of saturated fat.
Satisfaction. No wonder almonds satisfy. Oleic acid, a “good” fat found in almonds, helps trigger your small intestine to produce oleoylethanolamide, a component that has been shown to curb hunger pangs.
Heart protection. Numerous studies have shown that almonds help slash “bad” LDL cholesterol and lower blood pressure to reduce the risk of heart disease.
Blood sugar benefits. A study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition found that consuming an American Diabetes Association-recommended diet where 20% of total calorie intake came from almonds helped improve insulin sensitivity in people with pre-diabetes.
Beauty benefits. Almonds contain 35% of the daily value of Vitamin E, the most of any tree nut, which makes almonds a skin nourishing beauty food (more than 97% of women over age 19 lack adequate intakes of Vitamin E, an antioxidant that protects cells from the effects of free radicals).
A whole lot of nutrition per bite. When compared ounce for ounce, almonds are the tree nut highest in protein (6 g, the amount in one large egg), fiber (3.5 g, 12% of the Daily Value) and calcium (75 mg, 8% of the daily value), as well as vitamin E, riboflavin, and niacin.
Ease. Whole almonds are a great on-the-go snack, easy to toss in a lunch or carry in your pocket. One good-sized handful, or about 23 almonds, is the ideal daily portion recommended by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. For a visual, 23 almonds fit perfectly over a 3”x3” sticky note or into a shot glass or can be carried in the convenient snack tin available at www.almondboard.com.
Versatility. Almonds are a perfect way to add nutrition, texture, flavor and satisfaction to both sweet and savory dishes. Add almonds to your morning oatmeal, a fruit and yogurt parfait or whip almond butter into a fruit smoothie. Almonds also make a great addition to garden salads, stir frys, pasta dishes and casseroles. Use chopped almonds encrust chicken, fish or tofu and trade refined flour for almond flour in baked goods.