News

Copyright © 2017 Natural Medicines (www.naturalmedicines.com)
October 2013

Snacking on Almonds May Decrease Appetite

Incorporating almonds into daily meals or snacks may increase satiety and reduce the desire to eat without causing weight gain, according to a new study.

The almond is closely related to the peach, apricot, and cherry (all classified as drupes). Unlike its relatives, however, the outer layer of the almond is not edible. The edible portion of the almond is the seed.

Sweet almonds are a popular nutritious food. Researchers are especially interested in their level of monounsaturated fats, as these appear to have a beneficial effect on blood lipids. Sweet almond has been suggested as a treatment for many conditions. There is some research support for the use of whole sweet almonds as cholesterol-lowering agents, although it is not clear what dose may be safe and effective.

In a recent study, researchers randomly assigned 137 people with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes to eat 43 grams of almonds daily with breakfast or lunch, to eat them alone as a morning or afternoon snack, or to eat no almonds at all for four weeks. Various outcome measures, such as appetite responses and oral glucose tolerance tests, were evaluated before treatment and after the four weeks.

The researchers found that almonds reduced blood sugar responses after eating, noting that these responses were greatest when almonds were eaten as a snack. Additionally, when almonds were eaten as a snack, they reduced the urge to eat. Monounsaturated fat and alpha-tocopherol (vitamin E) consumption significantly increased in all almond groups. Furthermore, without specific guidance from the researchers, participants in the almond groups reduced their daily energy intake to account for the energy added by the almonds.

The authors concluded that incorporating almonds into the diet may reduce appetite without increasing the risk for weight gain and suggested their use as a healthy snack. Further research is warranted.

For more information about sweet almonds, please visit Natural Standard's Foods, Herbs & Supplements Database.

To comment on this story, please visit Natural Standard's blog.

References

  1. Natural Standard: The Authority on Integrative Medicine. 
  2. Tan SY, Mattes RD. Appetitive, dietary and health effects of almonds consumed with meals or as snacks: a randomized, controlled trial. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2013 Oct 2. View Abstract

The information in this brief report is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions. Copyright © 2017 Natural Medicines Inc. Commercial distribution or reproduction prohibited. Natural Medicines is the leading provider of high-quality, evidence-based, clinically-relevant information on natural medicine, dietary supplements, herbs, vitamins, minerals, functional foods, diets, complementary practices, CAM modalities, exercises and medical conditions. Monograph sections include interactions with herbs, drugs, foods and labs, contraindications, depletions, dosing, toxicology, adverse effects, pregnancy and lactation data, synonyms, safety and effectiveness.