Are Almonds Fattening? – Using Nuts for Weight Loss
Many people are still under the impression that nuts like almonds are fattening. They may think that due to their high fat content and calories that almonds can’t possibly be good for weight loss.
In fact, used as a replacement for what the vast majority of people snack on, nuts like almonds are actually an exceptional weight loss food. Here’s why.
The Wrong Type of Snacks
Losing weight is very difficult with the type of foods most people snack on. This is because packaged products made of processed grains like wheat and corn are very high in simple carbohydrates that stimulate the production of insulin.
The hormone insulin is responsible for fat storage within your body. When blood sugar levels get too high (which can be often with manufactured supermarket foods) your body releases it to remove the dangerously elevated levels of glucose in your blood.
That ‘sugar high’ from the bakery is usually very short-lived. Within the hour insulin gets to work shuttling the excess glucose out of your blood. Many people feel tired at this point and may become hungry again, usually for even more high carb food.
Meanwhile, insulin has to store all those excess sugars somewhere. Some can be stored in the liver. But unless you are exercising regularly, a percentage will be likely to be converted to triglycerides and stored as body fat – particularly around the waist and hips.
The simple carbohydrates found in most sweet and savory snacks are actually stored more effectively as body fat than natural fats due to the way they elevate insulin levels and help form triglycerides.
So many of us are eating the wrong type of snacks and it’s showing in the mirror and on the scales. Here’s where snacking on almonds to lose weight can be so effective. They have a very different effect on your body than processed carbohydrates.
Almonds for Weight Loss
Nutritional values for almonds per 100 grams show they have around 20 grams of protein and approximately 48 grams of fat, primarily monounsaturated like olive oil and avocados.
Because almonds are so high in both healthy fats and protein, while quite low in carbohydrates, eaten on their own they are highly unlikely to stimulate excessive insulin. Without insulin running around in your bloodstream, your body can switch from fat storing mode to fat burning mode.
There’s also evidence that not just high levels of protein, but also the predominantly monounsaturated fatty acids in almonds are actually thermogenic. This means they encourage your body to produce heat, increase fat mobilization and use it as fuel.
But what about the old weight loss staple of keeping calories down to lose weight?
It’s true that almonds do have relatively high calories with around 530 per cup. However, another important weight loss factor comes into play here: the satiety level of your food.
High Satiety Almonds for Less Hunger
The satiety level of a particular food is basically a measure of how much it fills you up.
Breads, pastries and other high carb products are all very low in satiety, meaning you eat them and before long you’re likely to feel hungry again. In fact, evidence is emerging that wheat and its gluten is especially good at stimulating more and more hunger.
Great for food manufacturers. Not so good for your waistline or long-term health.
By comparison, studies have shown that almonds are a very high satiety food that suppresses hunger and do not increase weight gain. If fact the more high satiety foods you eat like almonds, the easier it will be to lose weight.
Those little brown nuts are powerhouses of nutrition and really fill you up. The 530 calories in a cup of almonds becomes irrelevant when you find it virtually impossible to eat anywhere near that many at once.
Nuts for Weight Loss: A New Snacking Strategy for a Thinner Waist
If your snacks are high in carbohydrates, even ‘complex’ carbohydrates, you’re turning off the fat burning potential of your body and activating fat storage.
There may be a brief ‘sugar high’, but it will probably soon be replaced with borderline low blood sugar and more hunger. It’s called the insulin roller coaster with good reason.
A far better weight loss strategy is to switch out high carb snacks with non-fattening and high satiety nuts, like these highly rated organic almonds from California.
As long as you eat them on their own, without simple sugars, nuts like almonds can stimulate thermogenic processes within your body for a much higher chance of weight loss in the long-term. You also feel satisfied for longer with a more stable and dependable energy.
Additionally, from a nutritional perspective, almonds contain a variety of B vitamins and important minerals like magnesium, calcium, manganese, iron and copper for better energy production in your body.
Almonds are clearly one of the best nuts for weight loss and well worth including in your daily diet. There’s much more on how eating almonds can benefit your heart, give you better skin and increase your overall energy levels here.
For a quick overview on better snacking and using almonds for weight loss here are 4 important points:
- High carbohydrate snacks stimulate insulin and in excess, these simple sugars are converted to triglycerides and stored as body fat. They also stimulate hunger and switch your body from fat burning to fat storage mode.
- By comparison, almonds are not fattening when eaten on their own or with other nuts. In fact, they’re much more likely to help you lose weight, despite their high fat and calorie content, because they don’t raise blood glucose levels.
- Almonds contain rich levels of protein, healthy monounsaturated fats, B vitamins and vital energy production minerals. Satisfying your body’s need for essential nutrients can also be a big factor in reaching your ideal weight, as well as better overall health and energy.
- When it comes to weight loss, nuts and, in particular, almonds are a very high satiety food. They fill you up and keep you satisfied for longer, helping you to eat less and lose weight more effectively. All without counting calories or going hungry.
I hope this page has answered the question of are almonds fattening and I’d recommend trying a small handful of them the next time you’re hungry for a snack. They’re great to keep in your desk at the office to ward away afternoon cravings and keep you satisfied until dinner.
Big online stores are usually the best place to get your nuts due to their high turnover. Supermarkets generally have the lowest quality and unfortunately, the almonds in health food stores may have been sitting for a while and be far from fresh.
In the USA, these organic almonds have many positive reviews, particularly for their freshness. In the UK, I get these organic ones myself and they are consistently excellent.
Have you tried snacking on nuts like almonds for weight loss? More and more people are finding reducing carbohydrates and eating more fat burning foods like almond can lead to significant body fat reduction.
Another exceptional food for losing weight is even higher in calories and fat than almonds – avocados. You can read more about why the big green vitamin pill is so good for stimulating fat burning, especially in the morning, here.
Photo 1: jules / Photo 2: Amazing Almonds