In order to maintain their high energy levels throughout the day, a majority of people like to have a snack or two every now and then. On the other hand, doing so might significantly increase your daily calorie consumption, which can eventually contribute to an increase in body weight. However, the results of a recent study reveal that one particular snack could possibly have the opposite effect.
A group of researchers from the University of South Australia came to the conclusion that individuals who had almonds instead of an energy-equivalent carbohydrate snack were able to reduce the amount of calories that they consumed during the next meal by 300 kilojoules.
In a university release, Doctor Sharayah Carter, from the university’s Alliance for Research in Exercise, Nutrition, and Activity, explained: “Rates of overweight and obesity are a major public health concern, and modulating appetite through a better hormonal response may be key to promoting weight management.
“Our research examined the hormones that regulate appetite and how nuts, specifically almonds, might contribute to appetite control.”
We found that people who ate almonds experienced changes in their appetite-regulating hormones and that these may have contributed to reduced food intake (by 300 kJ).
The study, which was published in the European Journal of Nutrition, found that people who ate almonds had 47 percent lower C-peptide responses, which can improve insulin sensitivity and reduce the risk of developing diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
They also had higher levels of glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (18 percent higher), glucagon (39 percent higher), and pancreatic polypeptide responses (44 percent higher).
This is relevant to weight loss as glucagon sends satiety signals to the brain while pancreatic polypeptide slows digestion, which may reduce food intake, both encouraging weight loss.
Overall, the findings show that eating almonds produces small changes to people’s energy intake, something Doctor Carter says may have clinical effects in the long term.
“Almonds are high in protein, fiber, and unsaturated fatty acids, which may contribute to their satiating properties and help explain why fewer kilojoules were consumed,” she said.
Even small, positive lifestyle changes can have an impact over a longer period of time.
“When we’re making small, sustainable changes, we’re more likely to improve our overall health in the long run.”
“Almonds are a fantastic healthy snack to incorporate into the daily diet.
“We are now excited to look at how almonds might affect appetite during a weight loss diet and how they might assist with weight management in the long term.”