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Study Shows Snacking on Almonds Helps Women Feel Fuller

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Study Shows Snacking on Almonds Helps Women Feel Fuller

Study Shows Snacking on Almonds Helps Women Feel Fuller
January 13
15:41 2015

A new study published in the ‘European Journal of Nutrition’ found that a mid-morning snack of almonds helped control appetite and resulted in reduced calorie intake by the participants during the rest of the day. The study suggests that almonds may be an optimal snack by generating satiety, or inhibition of hunger. Inclusion of almonds in the diet did not increase total daily calorie consumption. As snacking is a well observed European habit, finding healthy snack options is of growing importance.

This is the first study to examine how people change their eating behavior in the short term when eating almonds as a mid-morning snack. The researchers investigated the effects of two different portion sizes of almonds as a mid-morning snack on satiety and energy intake, in comparison to having no snack. The study had a randomized crossover design, meaning that each participant completed all three interventions – 0g almonds, 28g almonds and 42g almonds. Despite eating 170 or 260 calories (~1-1.5 28g servings) from almonds as a mid-morning snack (depending on portion), there were no significant differences in total daily energy intake between any of the groups, indicating that participants compensated for the almond calories consumed, whether they had one serving or 1.5 servings of almonds as the mid-morning snack.

“We expected whole almonds to be a food that provides satiety because they are a natural source of protein and are high in fibre. However, it was interesting to see the mid-morning snack provided a long-lasting effect on appetite at dinner-time consumption, not only at lunchtime,” comments Sarah Hull, MSc, lead researcher of the study, which was conducted by Leatherhead Food Research.

During the study, participants completed baseline appetite ratings, and then were given their usual breakfast. The same breakfast was given to each participant on all three test days, ensuring that all participants felt their typical level of fullness after breakfast. They were then given a mid-morning snack of either 0g, 28g or 42g of almonds. Participants were fed lunch midday and permitted to eat as much as they wanted until they were comfortably full. Appetite ratings were then assessed every 30 minutes using VAS (visual analogue scale) ratings until dinner and again participants were instructed to eat as much as they wanted, until comfortably full.

Energy intake was assessed by weighing the meals before and after consumption. Participants ate significantly fewer calories at lunch and dinner when consuming 42 grams of almonds as a snack.

This new study joins other long-term studies that indicate that eating almonds does not lead to changes in body weight. A 30g serving of almonds provides 170 calories6, protein (6g), dietary fibre (4g), vitamins and minerals including vitamin E (8mg), magnesium (81mg) and potassium (220 mg).

“This study suggests that snacking on almonds can be a weight-wise strategy, and may provide day-long benefits when consumed as a mid-morning snack. Almonds provide 15 essential nutrients and are a satisfying, versatile and convenient snack option to fuel healthy, active lifestyles. Almonds are a sound choice when feeling hungry between meals,” says Lucy Jones, Specialist Dietitian.

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