MODESTO, Calif. (July 13, 2011) ? The addition of almonds to breakfast ? long hailed as the most important meal of the day ? may help sustain feelings of fullness based on the results of a recent study.

The study, Acute and second-meal effects of almond form in impaired glucose tolerant adults: a randomized crossover trial, published in February 2011 in the Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism, illustrates that consuming a breakfast containing almonds (a low glycemic index food) aids in stabilizing blood glucose levels for the better part of the day?while also keeping study participants satiated for a longer period of time.    

?This research indicates that adding almonds to a carbohydrate-rich breakfast may result in lower post-meal blood glucose concentrations both after breakfast and lunch when compared to carbohydrate-rich breakfasts alone? said Dr. Richard Mattes, Distinguished Professor of Foods and Nutrition at Purdue University who co-authored the study along with Alisa M. Mori and Robert V. Considine from the Division of Endocrinology, Department of Medicine, Indiana University in Indianapolis. ?Several components of almonds are thought to help moderate post meal glucose levels, including unsaturated fatty acids and fiber.?  This is great news for Americans who rely on dietary changes to help in the attenuation of post-meal blood glucose responses.

The researchers assessed the effects of various forms of almonds on markers of insulin sensitivity and satiety in pre-diabetic subjects.  Participants consuming a breakfast containing whole almonds experienced more sustained feelings of fullness and had lower blood glucose concentrations after breakfast and a second meal compared to subjects consuming the control breakfast.   It was noted that whole almonds provided the greatest feeling of fullness. The test breakfast that included whole almonds moderated post-meal glucose concentrations better than those that included almond butter, oil or flour.      

Study Limitations: Although the test meals were matched for available carbohydrate content, they were not matched on energy value or macronutrient composition. Additional research is needed to assess the long-term effects of including almonds in the breakfast meal on blood glucose concentrations.

Study at a Glance:

The People:  14 adults with impaired glucose tolerance, average age of 39 years.

The Study:  The study was a randomized, 5-arm, crossover trial. Each participant was given either a breakfast of orange juice and farina (Cream of Wheat?) containing 1.5 ounces of a form of almonds (whole almonds, almond butter, almond oil, defatted almond flour) or a control breakfast consisting  of orange juice and farina (Cream of Wheat?) with no almonds or almond products. The control and test breakfasts were matched for carbohydrate content. After breakfast, blood glucose, insulin, non-esterified free fatty acids (NEFA), glucagon-like pepetide-1 (GLP-1) and appetite sensations were measured. Four hours later, each participant was given a standard lunch, after which the same measurements were collected.

The Results: 
The study found that the addition of whole almonds to the breakfast meal significantly increased satiety, and decreased blood glucose concentrations throughout the day compared to the control breakfast meal.  Almond oil had lesser, but similar, effects on post-meal blood glucose concentrations as whole almonds; but, both whole almonds and almond oil significantly reduced the insulin response after the second meal compared to the control breakfast meal.

About Almond Board of California

Consumers all over the world enjoy California Almonds as a natural, wholesome and quality food product, making almonds California?s leading agricultural export in terms of value. The Almond Board of California promotes almonds through its research-based approach to all aspects of marketing, farming and production on behalf of the more than 6,000 California Almond growers and processors, many of whom are multi-generational family operations. Established in 1950 and based in Modesto, California, the Almond Board of California is a non-profit organization that administers a grower-enacted Federal Marketing Order under the supervision of the United States Department of Agriculture. For more information on the Almond Board of California or almonds, visit

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Background: Nut consumption may reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. The aim of the current study was to measure the acute and second-meal effects of morning almond consumption and determine the contribution of different nut fractions.

Methods: 14 impaired glucose tolerant (IGT) adults participated in a randomized, 5-arm, crossover design study where whole almonds (WA), almond butter (AB), defatted almond flour (AF), almond oil (AO) or no almonds (vehicle - V) were incorporated into a 75 g available carbohydrate-matched breakfast meal. Postprandial concentrations of blood glucose, insulin, non-esterified free fatty acids (NEFA), glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) and appetitive sensations were assessed after treatment breakfasts and a standard lunch.

Results: WA significantly attenuated second-meal and daylong blood glucose incremental area under the curve (iAUC) and provided the greatest daylong feeling of fullness. AB and AO decreased blood glucose AUCI in the morning period and daylong blood glucose iAUC was attenuated with AO. WA and AO elicited a greater secondmeal insulin response, particularly in the early postprandial phase, and concurrently suppressed the second-meal NEFA response. GLP-1 concentrations did not vary significantly between treatments.

Conclusions: Inclusion of almonds in the breakfast meal decreased blood glucose concentrations and increased satiety both acutely and after a second-meal in the 14 adults with IGT who participated in this study. The lipid component of almonds is likely responsible for the immediate post-ingestive response, although it cannot explain the differential second-meal response to AB versus WA and AO.
Footnotes :
1 Good news about fat.  U.S. Dietary Guidelines recommend that the majority of your fat intake be unsaturated.  One serving of almonds (28g) has 13 g of fat and only 1 g of saturated fat.