Did you know that aside from providing good mono-unsaturated fats, almonds may help you shed those unwanted pounds?  A few years back, researchers actually found that people eating a diet rich in almonds lost more weight than those on a high-carb diet with the same number of calories, which goes against the traditional belief that weight loss is all about calories in versus calories burned.  Researchers followed 65 overweight and obese adults, 70% of whom had type 2 diabetes, for 24 weeks. One group ate a 1,000 calorie/day liquid diet supplemented with 3 oz of almonds (384 additional calories) and the other group ate the same liquid diet but instead supplemented with a mix of complex carbohydrates (such as wheat crackers, baked potatoes, or air-popped popcorn). The two diets were equal in calories and protein but differed in fat and in addition to the liquid diet, they could also have salads with lemon juice or vinegar dressing.

The almond diet contained 39% total fat including 25% from heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, while the non-almond diet contained 18% total fat, 5% from monounsaturated fats. Participants in the almond diet saw an 18% reduction in weight and body mass index (BMI) compared with an 11% reduction in the non-almond dieters. Additionally, waist circumference, systolic blood pressure, and need for diabetes medication more so than the non-almond dieters. In terms of diabetic patients, since a side effect of some diabetes medication is increased hunger, the faster one can get off of medications, the better, so to stay slimmer.  But for everyone else looking to lose weight, these results are very important!  So what’s the mechanism behind all this almond based weight loss, you ask?  Well, the researchers speculate that the fat in almonds may not be completely absorbed and earlier research suggests that the cell walls of almonds can act as a physical barrier to fat, and they also may make you feel fuller, longer, something I can vouch for myself.  So go out and grab some almonds—turns out these yummy nuts are no longer diet-taboo!

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