Nutrition — 24 July 2012
Almonds a Healthy Substitute for Weight Loss

When people go on a diet, not only do they need to cut down on the total amount of calories they consume daily, but they also have to be more selective with the type of calories they eat. This means substituting potato chips, cookies and soda for healthier options.

There are plenty of healthy snacks that are just as tasty. Nuts, and particularly almonds, for example, are one such type of snack. A new study was conducted that consisted of 123 obese adults who followed a specific calorie-controlled diet for 18 months.

While all the subjects were given the same amount of total calories, half of them were given two 28-gram packages of almonds to consume every day. The other half were told to avoid any type of nuts completely.

About six months into the study, the group that consumed the nuts had a higher average weight loss than the group that refrained from them. The group that ate the almonds also showed a higher drop in cholesterol levels. After 18 months, the cholesterol levels from both groups have risen though the group that consumed the almonds still showed a slight lower average.

The results seem to indicate that almonds, when eaten in moderation, can be useful for weight loss and have additional benefits as well. Past studies do indicate that nuts play a role in lowering cholesterol and triglycerides, a type of fat that forms in the blood.

Nuts have traditionally been vilified due to its high fat content. However, most health experts believe that nuts can be beneficial for a dieter because of their rich levels of vitamin E, potassium, magnesium and fiber. Researchers also believe that nuts can help fight off cravings due to its crunchy texture and taste. The take-home message here is not to eat all the almonds you want, but that they can be incorporated into any diet plan for healthy weight loss.

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