Study shows that a morning snack of almonds helped study participants feel fuller and eat less at lunch and dinner.
We all know the feeling – that growling stomach and insatiable appetite that can lead us straight through dinner to a big bowl of ice cream at the end of the day. New research suggests that a simple morning snack of almonds may help keep cravings in check and hunger under control throughout the day.
Snacking has become nearly universal behavior – in fact, 97% of Americans are snacking at least once a day,1 and the proportion of consumers reporting that they eat three to four snacks a day nearly doubled from 24% in 2009 to 43% in 2012.2 Given this trend, combined with persistently high obesity rates, it is important to identify smart snack options that can help fill nutrient gaps and keep hunger at bay without adding to our waistlines.
Satiety: The Science Behind What Makes You Feel Full
Researchers are continuing to explore the factors impacting satiety, or the feeling of fullness, as a strategy to enhance weight management. A new randomized clinical study in 32 healthy adult women published in the European Journal of Nutrition found that a mid-morning snack of almonds helped control appetite and resulted in reduced calorie intake during the rest of the day.3
The study looked at the effects of eating 1 ounce and 1.5 ounces of almonds compared to no snack on ratings of appetite and fullness and overall calorie intake at lunch and dinner when asked to eat until they were comfortably full. Study participants felt the least hungry and ate significantly fewer calories at lunch and dinner when consuming the 1.5 ounce almond snack. What’s more, despite eating approximately 170 or 260 calories (1-1.5 ounces) from almonds, there were no differences in total daily calorie intake, indicating that participants naturally compensated for the additional calories consumed earlier in the day.
Almonds: A Heart-Smart4, Weight-Wise Snack
While the study just looked at the impact on one day’s meals and didn’t control for habitual almond intake, it adds to longer-term studies demonstrating that almonds can be a smart snack option for those watching their weight.4 5 While many commonly consumed snacks provide empty calories that don’t fill you up, there’s serious power in the crunch of almonds, with energizing protein (6 g/oz), hunger-fighting fiber (4 g/oz) and essential nutrients in every heart-smart handful.6 Talk about good things coming in small packages! Be sure to check out our Smart Snacking Tips and Snack Recipe Center for fresh and easy ideas on how to make almonds a satisfying part of your everyday routine.
1Piernas C, Popkin BM. J Nutr 2010; 140: 325-332.
2IRI – State of the Snacking Industry Report, 2013
3Hull S, Re R, Chambers L, Echaniz A, Wickham SJ. A mid-morning snack generates satiety and appropriate adjustment of subsequent food intake in healthy women. European Journal of Nutrition 2014; DOI 10.1007/s00394-014-0759-z.
4Tan YT, Mattes RD. Appetitive, dietary and health effects of almonds consumed with meals or as snacks: a randomised, controlled trial. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2013; 67: 1205-14.
5Hollis J, Mattes R. Effect of chronic consumption of almonds on body weight in healthy humans. Br J Nutr 2007; 98:651-656
6Good news about good fats. U.S. Dietary Guidelines recommend that the majority of your fat intake be unsaturated. One serving of almonds (28g) has 13g of unsaturated fat and only 1g of saturated fat.