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Almonds are considered one of the best foods to include your diet. Whether you’re after weight loss or looking to pack on some muscle, these popular nuts are one of the best snack options around. But until recently, scientists weren’t sure why those who regularly consumed almonds seemed to have a better body weight and BMI than those who didn’t. Originally, it was believed that it was because almond eating increased satiety or fullness, which is partly true. However more recent research has shown that perhaps it is because you can’t absorb all the fats in the nut.

A new study by Mandalari et al studied almond digestion using an in vitro dynamic gastric model and found that almond cell wall structures prevented lipid release. What this means is that eating almonds can not only increase our fullness, but the fats present in almonds may not all be digested and absorbed, thereby providing less calories than originally thought.

Studies looking at almond consumption has also found that the act of chewing can also have an effect on fullness ratings. A 2009 study by Cassady et al found that chewing something 40 times resulted in less hunger than those who only chewed 25 times.

Practical Applications

If you find yourself constantly fighting food cravings or getting hungry all the time whilst on a weight loss diet, it might be time to consider adding almonds as a snack option a couple of times a day. Not only will your hunger be suppressed, but you’ll be consuming a food that is an excellent source of various micronutrients whilst not overloading your body with as many calories as originally thought. To boost the appetite suppressing nature of almonds, make sure you chew it over 40 times and you could find yourself beating those cravings with ease. As always, make sure you don’t go overboard with the consumption and try to stick to a handful or two a day.

Mandalari G, Grundy MM, Grassby T, Parker ML, Cross KL, Chessa S, Bisignano C, Barreca D, Bellocco E, Laganà G, Butterworth PJ, Faulks RM, Wilde PJ, Ellis PR, Waldron KW. ‘The effects of processing and mastication on almond lipid bioaccessibility using novel methods of in vitro digestion modelling and micro-structural analysis.’ Br J Nutr. 2014 Nov;112(9):1521-9.

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