Adding Almonds in Low-Energy Diet Helps in Weight Loss and Heart Health, Study Finds
By Space Coast Daily // September 28, 2023
Since body fat can be influenced by complex factors like the amount of food intake, type of food eaten, and timing of meals, dietary strategies and nutritional guidelines are part of the discussion on long-term weight management and obesity treatment.
Among the optimal diets for weight loss is a low-calorie or energy-restricted diet, which focuses on energy deficit to burn calories and lose weight. However, besides advising patients to balance their energy intake and expenditure, researchers from the University of South Australia recently found that including almonds in a low-energy diet can not only help with weight loss but can also improve cardiometabolic health. This adds more evidence to the health benefits of nuts and guides individuals on using this knowledge to boost their efforts to lose weight and live healthily.
Why almonds work for weight loss
While nuts like almonds can serve as healthy snacks for people on weight loss diets, some avoid them due to their high fat content, which they associate with body fat. However, 2023 research published in the journal Obesity maintains that eating almonds can support a healthy diet for weight management and cardiometabolic health. Almonds are packed with protein that can boost feelings of fullness and reduce cravings, as well as essential vitamins and minerals to remain nourished despite losing weight.
Meanwhile, almonds’ unsaturated fats — or healthy fats — can improve blood cholesterol, ease inflammation, and contribute to a healthy heart. As a result, research participants who had energy-restricted diets supplemented with Californian almonds successfully lost up to seven kilograms or 9.3% of their initial body weight over the study period.
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How to boost weight loss efforts
Find a weight loss program
Despite the range of health benefits of eating almonds, it still helps to craft a nutritionally balanced diet to lose weight and keep it off in the long term. Thus, weight loss programs can aid in the process by designing a set of nutritional guidelines that go beyond energy restriction to include nutritious choices, portion control, and healthy eating habits. Moreover, a sustainable weight loss program takes a holistic approach by not only looking at what and how you eat but also at lifestyle factors like the amount of physical activity and sleep quality.
Add fiber to your diet
The high protein content of nuts like almonds can be complemented by fiber-rich foods that also make individuals feel fuller for longer and improve their digestion and metabolism for healthier weight loss. These include leafy green vegetables like broccoli, which positively impact gut bacteria and digestive health with at least five grams of consumption. For those on plant-based, meat-free diets, lentils can make a healthy alternative for building and maintaining muscle despite shedding body fat. Chickpeas are another viable, cost-effective option for meeting the daily recommended amount of fiber, containing 12.5g of dietary fiber in one cup.
Individuals should also maximize energy deficit and calorie burning through regular exercise. But aside from determining the type and intensity of workouts to include in one’s weight loss regimen, another recent study published in Obesity suggests optimizing workouts through exercise timing. Research shows that exercising early in the morning, ideally before eating, can potentially lead to increased weight loss compared to exercising at other times of the day. Aside from psychological factors like productivity and motivation, the benefits of morning workouts can also be linked to the body’s molecular clock and metabolic rate.
Overall, supplementing energy-restricted diets with almonds can lead to successful weight loss and health improvement through nutritional value. However, it remains advisable to complement this diet with a customizable weight loss program that highlights other macronutrients like fiber and takes into account lifestyle factors like exercise.