Almonds help in weight loss, improve heart health
A study has found another wonder food for you to include in your weight loss diet without compromising your health. Researchers from the University of South Australia have found that including almonds in an energy-restricted diet not only helped people to lose weight but also improved their cardiometabolic health.
The researchers examined the effect of almonds in an energy-restricted diet and found that it reduced around 7 kilos of body weight. The findings of the study are relevant globally as obesity and the complications associated with it are spreading like wildfire.
"Nuts, like almonds, are a great snack. They're high in protein, and fiber, and packed with vitamins and minerals, but they also have a high-fat content which people can associate with increased body weight," researcher Dr. Sharayah Carter said.
For the study, a total of 106 participants completed a nine-month eating program which included a three-month energy-restricted diet for weight loss, followed by a six-month energy-controlled diet for weight maintenance.
"The almond-supplemented diets also demonstrated statistically significant changes in some highly atherogenic lipoprotein subfractions, which may lead to improved cardiometabolic health in the longer term," the researchers have said.
Several other studies have found a close association between almonds and a healthy heart. A 2018 review study, published in the journal Nutrients, by Indian researchers shed light on the impact of almonds in reducing LDL cholesterol, which is a risk factor for coronary heart disease. Almonds help in maintaining or increasing the HDL cholesterol or the good cholesterol. "Daily consumption of around 45 g of almonds can help reduce one the most important risk factors for CVD in Indians, viz. dyslipidemia," the researchers said. Almonds are a part of the prunus family and are rich sources of mono- and polyunsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs and PUFAs). These are widely used in India as a nutritive food.
Decoding the nutritional value of almonds
As per the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), 100 grams of almonds contain close to 580 calories. It also comprises 21.15-gram protein, 50 g of fat, 21.55 g of carbohydrate, 12.5 g of fiber and 4.35 g of sugar. Almonds are also rich in calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and vitamin E.
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