almonds contain rich antioxidants including phenols, flavonoids and phenolic acids which can help you lose weight faster.

Almonds Can Help You Lose Weight

Even though the low-fat craze of the 90s is over, many people still resist snacking on nuts because they believe they're fattening. It remains one of the biggest nutritional myths of all time that if you eat a food high in fat, even healthy fat, it will make you fat. But as the below studies show, nuts like almonds are actually a sensible snack if you're trying to lose weight, and they have added health benefits as well.

According to the study, as reported by Green Med Info:

“[The] findings suggest that an almond-enriched [low-calorie diet] improves a preponderance of the abnormalities associated with the metabolic syndrome ... Almond supplementation ... is a novel alternative to self-selected complex carbohydrates and has a potential role in reducing the public health implications of obesity.”

What's Better for Weight Loss -- Almonds or Complex Carbs?

If you're watching your weight, a small handful of almonds is a better snack choice than a snack high in complex carbohydrates, such as a bran muffin. In one study comparing those who ate a low-calorie diet that included either almonds or complex carbs, the almond group had a:

• 62 percent greater reduction in their weight/BMI,

• 50 percent greater reduction in waist circumference

• 56 percent greater reduction in body fat

• A separate study in the journal Obesity also found that eating nuts two or more times per week was associated with a reduced risk of weight gain.

Other research has further proven that almonds confer superior health benefits to complex carbs like whole-wheat muffins;

• a study in Circulation found people with abnormally high level of lipids, such as cholesterol, in their blood, were able to significantly reduce their risk factors for coronary heart disease by snacking on whole almonds. Those who snacked on whole-wheat muffins got no such benefit.

What Makes Almonds so Healthy?

Although almonds are referred to as nuts, they are technically the seed (or pit) of the almond fruit. And, like most whole foods, they are naturally rich in a variety of nutrients and antioxidants that help your body thrive.

This includes:

• Monounsaturated fats

• Magnesium

• Potassium

• Vitamin E

• Selenium

• Calcium

• Manganese

• Fiber

• Protein

There are actually nine clinical studies on record that show almonds may have a beneficial impact on heart health and cholesterol. In 2003, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration even issued a qualified health claim that states:

"Scientific evidence suggests, but does not prove, that eating 1.5 ounces per day of most nuts, such as almonds, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol may reduce the risk of heart disease."

One of the healthiest aspects of almonds appears to be their skins, as they are rich in antioxidants including phenols, flavonoids and phenolic acids, which are typically associated with vegetables and fruits.

As the Almond Board of California reported, a study in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry even revealed that a one-ounce serving of almonds has a similar amount of total polyphenols as a cup of steamed broccoli or green tea.

Still more research shows that almonds may help improve measures of insulin sensitivity and other heart risk factors among people with pre-diabetes, and emerging research also suggests almonds may have a prebiotic effect in your gut, which may help boost your immune system.

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