Are Almonds Good for Weight Loss?

Almonds in a bowl
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We know almonds taste great and they’re chock-full of protein and healthy fats. But can nuts actually help with weight loss?

What the Research Says About Almonds

The most common claim about almonds as a weight-loss tool is that they’re satiating, meaning they can prevent overeating. This study found that among dieters, those who supplemented their diets with almonds lost more weight than those who supplemented their diets with complex carbs. And this study found that subjects who snacked on almonds every day didn’t gain any weight, even though they consumed hundreds of extra calories daily from the almonds. The scientists behind the study believe that’s because the almonds kept them from feeling hungry between meals.

Another possible reason almonds may be good for weight loss? Research has revealed that not all of almonds’ calories are absorbed by the body. Scientists believe that almonds may actually contain about 20-30 percent fewer calories than nutritional labels indicate because the rigidity of their cell makeup doesn’t allow for absorption.

Almonds are full of protein and research has shown that the nutrient is helpful for weight loss. One study found that a high-protein diet can boost metabolism, and another study found that protein has appetite-suppressing effects.

Calories Still Matter

With that in mind, though, it’s important to remember that calories count. Since almonds are high in fat, they contain a lot of calories: An ounce of almonds (about 23 nuts) has around 160 calories, 14 grams of fat, and 6 grams of protein. Those little almonds definitely add up! If you’re eating handfuls mindlessly throughout the day, you could be consuming more calories than you want. Don’t outweigh the benefits of almonds by eating too many of them.

The best way to use almonds as part of a weight-loss plan is to incorporate them into your meals and snacks in moderation. Carry a 100-calorie pack of almonds in your bag and whenever a snack attack hits, eat them instead of grabbing something from the vending machine. You’ll be amazed at how full almonds make you feel. Just remember to replace other snack foods with almonds. Don’t eat them in addition to everything else you’d eat in a day.

Enjoy these almond tips:

  • Snack on whole almonds. Several brands, like Blue Diamond, make 100-calorie packs of almonds and they even come in fun flavors. Rather DIY? You can have about 14 almonds for 100 calories.
  • Use sliced almonds on everything from salads to yogurt parfaits. They’re a great way to add flavor and crunch without adding a lot of calories. Just watch those portions. Each tablespoon has about 35 calories.
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