Let’s face it, if you have chosen to lead a healthier lifestyle, you have taken on a big challenge that includes many sacrifices.
One of those being the freedom to indulge in irrationally bad for you snacks whenever you want.
And that’s not easy.
Especially in the winter months when your cravings seem to be stronger than ever.
So here’s a snack miracle you never expected: Almonds!
With protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals, almonds could be just the solution for keeping your appetite in check until mealtime. But to get the benefits of almonds without added fat, make sure to choose raw or dry roasted almonds.
Lose Weight with Almonds
Almonds are packed with nutrition that can help weight loss and give you a health boost at the same time. Almonds are a source of the minerals calcium, magnesium and potassium. They also contain Vitamin E, Vitamin B-6 and folate.
According to a research study, when overweight Americans used about 2/3 cup of almonds per day as part of a weight loss diet, they increased weight loss by 62% more than when following a standard weight loss diet and had a 50% greater reduction in waist circumference. This study was published in the International Journal of Obesity and Related Metabolic Disorders.
Tame High Blood Sugar
The Insulin Resistance Syndrome, also called the Metabolic Syndrome, affects 40% of U.S. adults. It is characterized by an expanding waistline (the “apple shape”), and an increased risk of high blood pressure diabetes, liver disease, heart attacks, strokes and Alzheimer’s disease.
Research from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey found that incorporating almonds into the American Diabetes Association (ADA) diet improved measures of insulin resistance. The study, published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, noted an improvement in cardiovascular risk factors with the almond enhanced ADA diet.
Another study, published in the journal Metabolism, found that adding approximately 60 grams of almonds per day increased dietary intake of:
- polyunsaturated fatty acid,
- monounsaturated fatty acid,
- and vitamin E
The authors of the study concluded: “Our results suggested that incorporation of almonds into a healthy diet has beneficial effects on adiposity, glycemic control, and the lipid profile, thereby potentially decreasing the risk for cardiovascular disease in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus.”
Cut Cholesterol with Almonds
A Canadian study found that 2/3 cup of almonds a day, when added as a snack food to the diets of people with elevated cholesterol, significantly reduced the levels of total and LDL-cholesterol and especially reduced the dangerous oxidized LDL-cholesterol.
Now you’ve got an answer to all those friends and relatives who tell you that you can’t enjoy life if you’re making this many sacrifices to be healthy. When they say “there is no such thing as tasty and healthy” you can prove them wrong.
Almonds are tasty enough to eat right out of the bag. But if you are feeling inspired to whip something up in the kitchen, throw on an apron and check out the recipes in our book, The Fat Resistance Diet.
Here is one of my favorites: start with a cup of yogurt, drizzle with pomegranate, cherry or blueberry concentrate for an antioxidant boost. Then sprinkle a few almonds on top.
Now I’d like to hear from you:
Do you eat almonds?
How do you enjoy them, plain or in recipes?
Please let me know your thoughts by posting a comment below.
Jonathan Galland J.D. is Co-Founder and CEO of pilladvised.com, a website featuring breakthrough health knowledge from top universities and doctors who share the powerful healing concepts of integrated medicine.
Jonathan is a health writer who created over 100 recipes for The Fat Resistance Diet by Leo Galland M.D. Their book has been featured on the cover of Fitness, Glamour Italia, and Women’s World and in publications such as The Washington Post, Body and Soul, Self and The Wall Street Journal.
Jonathan’s work has been featured on CBN.com and Bottomline Health and he has done numerous radio interviews including an appearance on Martha Stewart Living Radio.
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References and Further Reading:
USDA Agricultural Research Service, Dry Roasted Almonds Data.
Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 2003 Nov;27(11):1365-72, “Almonds vs complex carbohydrates in a weight reduction program.” Wien MA, Sabaté JM, Iklé DN, Cole SE, Kandeel FR. City of Hope National Medical Center, Duarte, CA 91010, USA.
Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2008 Nov;48(10):905-12. "Dietary fiber in the prevention and treatment of metabolic syndrome: a review." Aleixandre A, Miguel M. Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Medicine, Complutense University, Madrid, Spain.
J Am Coll Nutr. 2010 Jun;29(3):189-97. “Almond consumption and cardiovascular risk factors in adults with prediabetes.” Wien M, Bleich D, Raghuwanshi M, Gould-Forgerite S, Gomes J, Monahan-Couch L, Oda K. University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, Newark, New Jersey, USA.
Metabolism. 2011 Apr;60(4):474-9. Epub 2010 May 23, “ Almond consumption improved glycemic control and lipid profiles in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus.”Li SC, Liu YH, Liu JF, Chang WH, Chen CM, Chen CY.School of Nutrition and Health Science, Taipei Medical University, Taipei City 110, Taiwan.
Circulation. 2002 Sep 10;106(11):1327-32. “Dose response of almonds on coronary heart disease risk factors: blood lipids, oxidized low-density lipoproteins, lipoprotein(a), homocysteine, and pulmonary nitric oxide: a randomized, controlled, crossover trial.” Jenkins DJ, Kendall CW, Marchie A, Parker TL, Connelly PW, Qian W, Haight JS, Faulkner D, Vidgen E, Lapsley KG, Spiller GA.Clinical Nutrition and Risk Factor Modification Center, St Michael’s Hospital, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.