This week I was invited to go to the EU Round Table Meeting for the Almond Board of California. Exciting stuff, not just because I like almonds.
Here is some of what I learnt and liked…
Almonds can help keep you satiated and although you may think they are high in calories, studies show that they can help with weight management. When added into the diet in a sensible portion size the research shows that people do not gain weight but adapt their calorie intake at other points in the day.
A year long study showed adding whole almonds to the diet did not lead to weight gain. People ate more healthy fats and some people lost weight.
Almonds can suppress hunger, the desire to eat when not hungry and your meal size. They also increase your resting energy expenditure by 13%, so you burn more calories at rest, which explains some of the reason weight gain is not seen when you eat them regularly.
Due to the cell wall of almonds being difficult to break down whole almonds actually provide about 20% less calories than originally thought. Chewing studies show that the more you chew your almonds the more nutrition you will get from them. Conversely if you do not chew them well you will excrete more fat from them!
So almonds are a healthy food to be snacking on. It may surprise you to know that a portion is 23 almonds, equivalent to a shot glass or enough to cover a 3″ x 3″ square sticky note. I was given a lovely jar of almonds to take home so I’m certainly going to keep on snacking on them!