High in Nutrient-Dense Calories
Almonds provide a great blend of healthy fats and protein. Because fat provides more calories per gram than carbohydrates or protein, they are also energy-dense. Not to worry though, almonds are an appropriate snack for both weight gain and weight loss, as they keep you satiated for longer than other snacks. If you are looking to lose weight, just be mindful of portion sizes. One serving of almonds is 1 oz, which is a handful or ¼ cup, and provides 160 calories. Almonds are also a good source of fiber, Vitamin E, and Magnesium, and provide a nice source of protein for vegetarians and vegans [i].
Almonds have been shown to significantly decrease triglycerides, total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, body fat mass, and waist-hip ratio [ii]. Research has also found a significant association between increased nut consumption (defined as peanuts, pine nuts, and almonds) and decreased risk of colorectal cancer [iii].
Ways to Eat
Nuts, including almonds, are one of the best foods to take with you while traveling. If you have a family vacation or business trip planned, bring along a bag of almonds to ensure you have a healthy option for the car, plane, or hotel room. For portion control, purchase pre-portioned almond snack packs or portion them out yourself using small to-go containers. Try a homemade trail mix for more variety by mixing together almonds, walnuts, blueberries, dark chocolate, and cinnamon. Add a crunch to and boost nutrition and calorie content of oatmeal, salads, and quinoa by mixing in almonds. Keep an eye out for our Recipe of the Month: Fudgy Date and Almond Truffles, and get creative in the kitchen with your family.
[i] Nuts, almonds. Retrieved from https://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/nut-and-seed-products/3085/2
[ii] Liu, Y, Hwang, H. J., Kim, H. S., & Park, H. (2018). Time and intervention effects of daily almond intake on the changes of lipid profile and body composition among free-living healthy adults. J Med Food. 21(4):340-347. Doi: 10.1089/jmf.2017.3976.
[iii] Lee, J, Shin, A, Oh, J. H., & Kim, J. (2018). The relationship between nut intake and risk of colorectal cancer: a case control study. Nutr J. 17(1):37. Doi: 10.1186/s12937-018-0345-y.