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Almonds can curb your appetite

03 December 2014

New research has found that eating almonds as a mid-morning snack can be considered a way to curb your appetite at subsequent meals. The study, published in The European Journal of Nutrition and conducted by Leatherhead Food Research, tracked the daily calorie intake of 32 females to find if the consumption of three different volumes of almonds changed their calorie consumption in later meals.  The study was funded by the Almond Board of California.

As well as monitoring the energy intake over the course of the day, the study also evaluated the participants on their subjective appetite ratings using a visual analogue scale. By asking questions about their feelings of hunger, sensation of being full and desire to eat, the researchers were able to assess the satiation effect of almonds. Satiation is described as the inter meal inhibition of hunger from consuming food, with foods that are low in energy density and high in protein and fibre having significant satiation effects. With almonds being a tree nut that have a high level of protein and fibre, they show significant hunger satisfaction after eating as well as being a source of vitamin E, riboflavin, niacin and calcium.

The study assessed three volumes of almond intake (0.0 g, 28.0 g and 42.0 g) in females aged between 35 and 60 with BMI’s between 18.5 and 25 kg/m2. The participants consumed breakfasts of similar calorific content, a mid-morning snack of one of the volumes of almonds and then subsequent meals after were ad libitum. The researchers found that the intake of the higher volume of almonds did not cause an overall increase in energy consumption during the course of the day, with subsequent meals after the mid-morning snack being lower in their calorific content. The results of the appetite ratings showed that after the mid-morning snack of almonds the subjects had a lower level of hunger and felt fuller for longer.

It was therefore concluded that the consumption of a portion of almonds between breakfast and lunch will make consumers less likely to overeat at subsequent meals due to its satiation characteristics and thus can be considered a snack suitable for a healthy and balanced diet.

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