Almonds are arguably one of the healthiest plant-based proteins available as they offer your body a range of health benefits. They can help lower blood pressure, make you feel fuller, are high in fiber and are a great snack.
Another reason to consider adding almonds to your diet is also that they can help you lose weight. But adding almonds to an unhealthy diet can result in conflicting results.
The whole diet is important when trying to lose weight or manage your weight. However, since almonds are high in calories, it is necessary not to go overboard when including them in your diet.
So, how many almonds are good for weight loss? What are their additional benefits? Find out all about these here!
The benefits of almonds for weight loss
Below are some evidence-based benefits of almonds for weight loss:
Almonds – Benefits, nutritional value & recipes
1. Almonds regulate blood sugar levels
A study suggests that adding almonds to a well-balanced diet can help manage blood sugar levels and insulin resistance in people with type 2 diabetes.
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In addition, the beneficial effect of almonds on insulin resistance, insulin sensitivity or insulin levels may help reduce the risk of weight gain associated with diabetes.
People with type 2 diabetes are also likely to have low magnesium levels. Magnesium deficiency makes it difficult to control blood sugar levels and triggers insulin resistance, which can lead to weight gain.
Although not everyone with low magnesium levels gains weight, studies have shown that overweight and obese people benefit from foods rich in magnesium, such as almonds.
One ounce or 20-23 whole almonds contains 80 mg or about 19-20% of the recommended daily magnesium intake. Therefore, almonds can help improve your magnesium levels and control your blood sugar to reduce the risk of potential weight gain.
2. Almonds increase satiety
The high levels of healthy fats, proteins and fiber in almonds encourage weight loss by increasing satiety. The fiber absorbs water and swells in the stomach and intestines, promoting satiety and suppressing your appetite.
Meanwhile, almonds’ protein and healthy fats also reduce your hunger because they are digested slowly by your body. It eliminates the urge to snack throughout the day. The less you munch on, the less weight you will gain.
As the prevalence of obesity increases, adding snacks that promote satiety to snacks is an intelligent calorie control dietary strategy.
A recent study shows that consuming almonds as a mid-morning snack, as opposed to crackers or water, causes a lower hunger drive. This higher satiety of almonds can suppress cravings for high-calorie, high-fat foods.
3. Almonds increase metabolism
After you soak the almonds, the shell comes off easily and releases nutrients more efficiently. In addition, soaked almonds release the enzyme lipase, which improves metabolism and is beneficial for fat digestion.
The fat-melting enzyme lipase is only available when the almond has sprouted. Soaking raw almonds for about 8-12 hours makes them sprout. But almonds don’t grow tails like bean sprouts. Instead, they swell slightly, become softer to chew and easier to digest.
The hypesnagger note
Almonds are rich in protein, fiber and healthy unsaturated fats. They work together to make you feel full and prevent overeating, lowering your total calorie intake. However, you must eat a balanced meal and incorporate moderate exercise into your regimen. When you consume fewer calories than you burn, weight loss is likely to occur.
How many almonds should you eat for weight loss?
Before you start munching on a bowl of almonds as a snack, remember that you’ll only reap benefits like weight loss when you consume them as part of a calorie-controlled diet.
Replacing carbohydrate-rich snacks with almonds can promote calorie balance. As a result, it supports healthy weight management. What matters most is therefore your eating habits and behaviour.
You need to consume a proper portion or healthy serving size of almonds within your daily calorie needs. However, it can vary from person to person.
One study shows that consuming 1.5 ounces or about 30-35 g of almonds daily improved the lipid profile and reduced central fat (abdominal fat). That’s slightly more than the current daily recommendation of a 1-ounce serving.
Another 24-week pilot study states that a low-calorie diet enriched with 84 g/day of almonds effectively reduced body weight among overweight and obese adults. However, it is not always advisable to consume so many almonds.
Clear the air …. How many almonds can you eat daily?
These findings show that different people may need different serving sizes depending on their needs and other factors. Eating around 30g of almonds daily is a great place to start.
Talking to a nutritionist is also recommended to clear doubts and understand the individual difference in serving size, which is appropriate for your weight loss goal, calorie limit and other preferences.
If you have diabetes or pre-diabetes, subscribing to HealthifyPro 2.0 is a smart option, as customization is key when it comes to weight loss. Since not one key fits all, diets work in similar ways.
PRO comes with a continuous glucose meter, which shows a complete picture of your glucose levels. In addition, the CGM provides real-time insights into how food, physical activity, medication and other factors affect your glucose levels.
For example, with the HealthifyPro CGM, you can know your blood sugar level trends after eating a handful of almonds.
If unwanted blood sugar spikes occur, the CGM sends text alerts to your health coach. They will modify your almond serving size according to your blood sugar response with recorded data.
Ways to eat almonds for weight loss
There is no best time to eat almonds for weight loss. You can enjoy almonds at any time of the day. However, most nutritionists suggest having almonds as a mid-morning or mid-afternoon snack. It helps control the cravings you may experience between breakfast and lunch.
Here are some best ways to eat almonds for weight loss:
Smoothies or shakes
If you think morning is the best time to eat almonds for weight loss, try adding chopped almonds to smoothies and shakes. In addition, adding almond powder can improve the nutritional value of your morning drink.
You can eat a handful of raw, soaked or roasted whole almonds. Keep the almond skin on as it contains fiber and keeps you full for longer.
Plant-based almond milk is an excellent low-calorie alternative to dairy-based milk, especially for vegans and the lactose intolerant. You can extract almond milk at home by soaking, grinding and straining raw almonds.
Healthify PRO TIPS
If you buy commercial versions, check the label to know the amount of added sugar. Or go for unsweetened almond milk.
Risks of overconsumption of almonds
Almond consumption in moderate amount shows no side effects. But here are some side effects of eating almonds in excess:
interfere with medications
Almonds are high in manganese. Therefore, consuming too many almonds will cause your body to absorb excess manganese. As a result, it sabotages the mechanism of the medications you may be taking.
Since almonds contain fiber in higher amounts, overconsumption causes constipation, stomach pain, bloating and nausea. These digestive problems can occur immediately after consumption or several hours later. In such cases, try taking probiotics or drinking plenty of water.
Vitamin E overdose
An overdose of vitamin E from just eating almonds is highly unlikely. But eating too many almonds while consuming other vitamin E-rich foods can cause problems.
Amandine, a protein in almonds, is a common allergen. It can cause swelling of the tongue, mouth and lips, an itchy mouth or a scratchy throat. If you have other nut allergies, be careful when eating almonds.
The hunger-fighting protein, super-satisfying fiber, and healthy monounsaturated fats in almonds help create and maintain a calorie deficit.
After all, the key to successful weight loss is consuming fewer calories than your body burns. Therefore, it is best to follow the recommended serving size of 1 ounce or about 20-23 whole almonds to promote weight loss.
Some people find it easier to digest soaked almonds, or you can add almond pieces to your salads and desserts to make them more filling. Remember that everything is beneficial in moderation.
So if you need help with how many almonds to eat, talk to a nutritionist at hypesnagger. The team can help you find the portion size that suits your needs.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q. Are soaked almonds good for weight loss?
A. Yes, soaked almonds are good for weight loss. Soaking almonds improves nutrient absorption and releases an enzyme called lipase. As a result, it increases the metabolism and breaks down the fats in the food. Eating soaked almonds on an empty stomach sustains a good energy level throughout the day. It also keeps cravings for unhealthy snacks at bay. Also, soaked almonds are easier to chew and digest than roasted or raw almonds.
Q. Is almond milk good for weight loss?
A. Almond milk has 50% fewer calories than cow’s milk. Therefore, it is an ideal drink for weight loss. In addition, almond milk is perfect for a vegan diet and those who are lactose intolerant. For example, a cup of unsweetened almond milk has only 39-40 calories. On the other hand, skimmed milk of the same amount has about 91 calories.
Q. Is almond butter good for weight loss?
A. Two tablespoons of almond butter provides 7 grams of protein, 1.5 grams of fiber and 16 grams of healthy unsaturated fats. So, almond butter is a nutritious snack or addition to a balanced meal. But it is also high in calories. Eating more than two tablespoons of almond butter daily can therefore make it harder to lose weight.
Q. Is coffee with almond milk good for weight loss?
A. Yes, coffee with almond milk is good for weight loss. In addition, it contains far fewer calories than regular cow’s milk. Replacing your daily servings of milk with almond milk will therefore help reduce your total calorie intake. Almond milk is also rich in fiber and protein, which is important for weight loss.
The supporting sources
1. Gulati S, Misra A, Pandey RM. Effect of almond supplementation on glycemia and cardiovascular risk factors in North Indian Asian Indians with type 2 diabetes mellitus: A 24-week study. Metab Syndr Relat Disord. 2017;15(2):98-105. doi:10.1089/met.2016.0066
2. Cahill F, Shahidi M, Shea J, et al. High dietary magnesium intake is associated with low insulin resistance in the Newfoundland population. PLoS One. 2013;8(3):e58278. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0058278
3. Hollingworth S, Dalton M, Blundell JE, Finlayson G. Evaluation of the impact of raw almonds on appetite control: satiety, satiety, hedonics and consumer perceptions. Nutrients. 2019;11(9):2030. Published 2019 August 30. doi:10.3390/nu11092030
4. Effects of daily almond consumption on cardiometabolic risk and abdominal fat in healthy adults with elevated LDL cholesterol: Originally published Jan 5, 2015
5. Wien MA, Sabaté JM, Iklé DN, Cole SE, Kandeel FR. Almonds vs complex carbohydrates in a weight loss program (published correction appears in Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 2004 Mar;28(3):459). Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 2003;27(11):1365-1372. doi:10.1038/sj.ijo.0802411