By Florencia Tagliavini, The NutraMilk Nutritionist
For so long we have stayed away from nuts due to their high calorie and fat content. It was a big no-no for anyone trying to lose weight. Now, all we hear about is how healthy nuts are.
Almonds are Nutrient and Energy-Dense
The truth is that they are a nutrient and energy-dense food, a good source of plant protein, fiber, healthy fats, antioxidants, vitamins & minerals. There have been numerous studies that confirm that almond consumption is not associated with weight gain and it helps improve cholesterol and lipid profiles making them a perfect heart-healthy food. Furthermore, research has shown that almonds can actually aid with weight loss and surprisingly reduce belly fat.
A Penn State study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association found that consuming 1.5 ounces of almonds daily - as opposed to a high carbohydrate muffin - along with a heart-healthy diet, helped reduce both LDL cholesterol ("bad cholesterol") as well as total cholesterol.
Perhaps a more striking finding was that along with an improved lipid profile, central adiposity (belly fat) was also reduced. An excess of belly fat, which is a dangerous type of fat that can encircle our organs is a component of metabolic syndrome, a risk factor for developing premature coronary artery disease.
Different studies published in the Journal of Nutrition and other prestigious science journals confirm similar findings. A slimmer waistline! Yet another benefit of almonds!
How many almonds should you eat to lose weight and trim your waistline?In this particular study from Penn State, participants consumed 1.5 ounces of almonds which is approximately 30-35 almonds per day. This is slightly greater than the current daily recommendation of a 1-ounce serving which is about 23 whole almonds.
I recommend sticking to the 1-ounce serving size of almonds as an addition to a healthy diet which has been associated with many health benefits. Note that adding nuts to an unhealthy diet wont result in the same benefits. The entirety of the diet is important!
With the NutraMilk, you can enjoy 2 tablespoons of homemade almond butter or make fresh almond milk. For the recommended serving size of 1 ounce of almonds in an 8-ounce glass of almond milk - use 2 quarts of water to 1.5 cups of almonds. You will get all the nutrition and health benefits from about 22 almonds in one glass!