Almonds for Weight Loss

AlmondsAlmonds can be great for weight loss, which may come as rather a surprise to many. We tend to think of them as fattening, as they do indeed contain a lot of calories and fat. But, they contain healthy fats, as well as a host of vitamins and other nutrients, which may help stimulate the body’s fat burning mechanisms.

A Spanish study over 28 months, involving almost 9,000 adults, found that those eating nuts such as almonds at least twice per week experienced a 31% reduced chance of gaining weight compared with those who never ate nuts.

Although nuts are high in fat, frequent nut eaters are on average slimmer than those who almost never consume nuts. (Data from the Nurses’ Health Study)

Here are some benefits of almonds for weight loss:

Energy Booster

Almonds are a particularly great source of energy-producing nutrients like vitamin E, vitamin B, magnesium, calcium, potassium, manganese and copper, as well as 18% protein, and fibre. These nutrients are important for weight loss because they can help to keep the body active for longer, with less need to consume starchy and sugary calories.

Healthier Than Carbohydrates

A study published in the International Journal of Obesity found that a low fat diet supplemented with almonds encouraged more weight loss than diets supplemented with complex carbohydrates.  Individuals on the almond diet saw an 18% reduction in weight, versus only 11% of those on the carb diet.

Monounsaturated Fats

Almonds are a great source of monounsaturated fats, great for energy. They help to lower LDL cholesterol, decrease the risk of heart disease, and may actually aid in weight loss.

Nutrient Rich

Even though almonds contain more calories than some people like the sound of, they have a great nutrient to calorie ratio. They are a fantastic source of protein, manganese, magnesium, potassium, vitamin E and Vitamin B2 and other nutrients. The calories that almonds provide do not seem to increase weight like calories from carbohydrate and starchy foods.

How to get the best nutrition from almonds:

All nuts contain an enzyme inhibitor called phytate which makes them difficult for some people to digest. To get maximum nutrition it is best to soak them before eating, for approximately 10-12 hours. Then eat within two days.  Soaking them neutralizes the phytate, allowing the nutrients from the nut to be released and digestion to become more complete.