A recent study from the University of South Australia revealed that a handful of almonds can help prevent weight gain. Researchers, who studied how almonds can alter human appetite, discovered that a snack of 30-50 grams of almonds could encourage people to consume fewer kilojoules each day.
The study found that those who ate almonds instead of an energy-equivalent carbohydrate snack reduced their energy consumption by 300 kilojoules at the next meal, the majority of which came from junk food. Dr. Sharayah Carter from UniSA's Alliance for Research in Exercise, Nutrition and Activity (ARENA) says the research provides valuable insights into weight management.
"Rates of overweight and obesity are a major public health concern and modulating appetite through better hormonal response may be key to promoting weight management. Our research examined the hormones that regulate appetite and how nuts, specifically almonds, might contribute to appetite control,” Dr. Carter said.
"We found that people who ate almonds experienced changes in their appetite-regulating hormones and that these may have contributed to reduced food intake (by 300kJ)," he said. According to the study, consumption of almonds was associated with lower levels of C-peptide responses (47 per cent lower), higher levels of the glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (18 per cent higher), glucagon (39 per cent higher), and pancreatic polypeptide responses.
Dr Carter said, ”Almonds are high in protein, fibre, and unsaturated fatty acids, which may contribute to their satiating properties and help explain why fewer kilojoules were consumed.” He said the findings of this study show that eating almonds produce small changes in people’s energy intake, adding that this may have clinical effects in the long term.