In a small study, published in the European Journal of Nutrition, UK researchers tracked the calorie intakes of 32 healthy women and found that those who ate 42g ( 1.5 oz) of almonds as a snack took in significantly fewer calories at lunch and dinner.

As well as monitoring the energy intake over the course of the day, the study also evaluated the participants on their subjective appetite ratings using a visual analogue scale. By asking questions about their feelings of hunger, sensation of being full and desire to eat, the researchers were able to assess the satiation effect of almonds. Satiation is described as the inter meal inhibition of hunger from consuming food, with foods that are low in energy density and high in protein and fibre having significant satiation effects.

Feeling fuller

The study assessed almond intake in women aged between 35 and 60 with BMI’s between 18.5 and 25 kg/m2.

The participants consumed breakfasts of similar calorific content, a mid-morning snack of either 0.0 g, 28.0 g or 42.0 g of almonds and then subsequent meals after were a free choice. The results of the appetite ratings showed that after the mid-morning snack of almonds the subjects had a lower level of hunger and felt fuller for longer. Whatismore, the higher intake of almonds did not cause an overall increase in energy consumption during the course of the day, since subsequent meals after the mid-morning snack being lower in their calorific content.

Better for heart disease too

The study, albeit funded by the Almond Board of California (roughly 80% of the world’s almonds come from California), is the latest in a long string of research that suggests tree nuts are a healthy snack or food ingredient, providing nutrients and energy as well as preventing or treating obesity by curbing appetites.

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