A lot of people think that they need to stay away from nuts; they’re too high in fat (although we know fat is not bad) or too high in calories. Today I’m here to tell you how wonderful almonds are (although technically they’re not nuts, they are the seeds of almond fruit). Better than the other foods that we’ve looked at because they’re not seasonal, you can buy them year round (although they are freshest in mid-summer). They’re versatile and can be served sweet or savory! So why so much hype for almonds? They are high in monounsaturated fat (like we discussed in olive oil). Monounsaturated fat intake is associated with a reduced risk in heart disease. It has more though to help with the heart than just fat, though. Almonds are great sources of magnesium (a lack of which promotes free radical injury to the heart) and potassium (an electrolyte involved in nerve transmission and muscle contraction, including the heart). One study showed that eating nuts four times a week helped lower the risk of cardiovascular and coronary heart disease. They help to lower LDL (bad cholesterol levels) levels. Eating in whole form is best though. Flavonoids in the skin work with vitamin E in the meat to more than double the antioxidants, and reduce LDL’s resistance to oxidation by 53.8%. I am adamant about controlling insulin levels (which is why I don’t consume foods like grain, starches, and sugars which spike blood glucose levels), but almonds have been shown to decrease a rise in blood sugar after meals. One study showed that eating more almonds at a meal actually lowed the GI (glycemic index) of the carbohydrates in the meal, thus preventing the spike in blood glucose levels. Greater yet is almonds affects on weight. A study showed that eating a low calorie diet incorporating almonds vs. a low calorie diet with complex carbohydrates helped shed pounds 39% more efficiently! In addition to a 96% reduction in diabetes medications, compared to 50% by the other diet. You won’t gain weight eating almonds either. In Spain people who ate almonds two times a week were 31% less likely to gain weight than those who didn’t consume any. Just one ounce of almonds a week for women has been shown to reduce the risk of gallstones by 25%. It just keeps getting better too, because they are great sources of protein (7.62 g in 1/4 cup) and we discussed the importance of protein on Monday. Almonds are great! They’re easy to transport or add to any dish (add some to sliced apples and cinnamon or to a salad, even better with olive oil as dressing). Next week we’ll delve further into almonds and explore the world of almond products, like almond butter or almond mill. Until then grab a handful and enjoy, your heart will love you for it; as well as your waist line!
Master Weight Loss Coach
I lost over a 100 lbs a decade ago and I've kept it off. Now I serve others to help them reach their health potential. Follow me and my discoveries.
I'm Susan. I'm a mom, a grandmother, and a Master Kettlebell Trainer.
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