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  • People eating almonds lost an additional 16 pounds, 43 lbs vs 27 lbs

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
    Thursday, October 22, 2015 6:44 am Email this article
    Substituting almonds for complex carbohydrates in a low calorie diet increases weight loss according to a study from researchers at the City of Hope National Medical Center in Duarte, California.

    Weight Loss

    People eating 3 ounces of almonds as part of a low calorie diet lost considerably more weight, 16.4 pounds more (62 percent more), than people eating the same amount of complex carbohydrates.

    People eating the almond-enriched low calorie diet lost 43 pounds in six months compared to 26.6 pounds in the complex carbohydrate group.

    “The difference in weight loss was unexpected, given the study design featuring [the same number of calories] and equivalent levels of self-reported physical activity between the groups,” the researchers stated. (p. 1370, col. 1)

    The difference in weight loss between the groups was not affected by gender, type 2 diabetes, or hypertension.


    People eating the almond-enriched diet also lost weight over a longer period of time.

    Whereas 92 percent of the weight loss in the complex carbohydrate group occurred during the first four months, only 77 percent occurred during the same time in the almond group.

    People consuming the almond-enriched diet appeared to be still losing weight after six months when the study ended, whereas those eating the complex carbohydrate diet appeared to have reached a plateau after four months.


    The almond-eriched group lost 29.1 pounds of fat versus 20 pounds for the complex carbohydrate group, and 11.2 pounds of fat-free mass (muscle) compared to 5.4 pounds for the complex carbohydrate group.


    The study involved 65 overweight and obese adults who were 27- to 79-years-old.


    The diet that was prescribed to both groups contained 1000 calories per day.

    Both diets contained 29 percent protein (72 grams per day).

    The complex carbohydrate diet contained 18 percent fat and 53 percent carbohydrates, whereas the almond-enriched diet contained 39 percent fat and 32 percent carbohydrates.

    The almond group consumed less dietary fiber than the complex carbohydrate group: 20 grams per day versus 32 grams.


    Both groups were encouraged to walk 20 to 30 minutes three to five times per week.


    Ketone levels increased in the almond group by 260 percent compared to no increase in the complex carbohydrate group, which was expected because of the increased level of fat in the diet in the almond group. But this may also indicated a greater breakdown in body fat in the almond group.


    Systolic blood pressure dropped more in the almond-enriched group than the complex carbohydrate group. Systolic blood pressure dropped by 16 points, from 143 to 127 mmHg, in the almond group compared to a drop of only 2 points, from 140 to 138 mmHg, in the complex carbohydrate group.

    Diastolic blood pressure dropped a similar amount in both groups: 6 points in both groups—from 77 to 71 mmHg in the almond group, and from 78 to 72 mmHg in the complex carbohydrate group.


    HDL levels decreased in the almond group by 6 percent, whereas they increased by 15 percent in the complex carbohydrate group.


    Fasting insulin levels fell 54 percent in the almond-enriched group compared to a 32 percent reduction in the carbohydrate group.


    Insulin resistance decreased nearly twice as much in the almond group as the carbohydrate group: a decrease of 66 percent versus 35 percent.


    Among subjects with type 1 diabetes, more patients in the almond group maintained or further reduced their diabetes medication compared to people in the carbohydrate group: 96 percent of patients versus 50 percent.


    Reductions in blood sugar levels and insulin levels in those eating almonds is thought to be due the fact that almonds contain monounsaturated fat, specifically oleic acid. Other studies have found similar benefits by enriching a low calorie diet with monounsaturated fat.

    The National Cholesterol Education Program emphasizes monounsaturated fat as a way of reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease. (p. 1366, col. 1, bottom)

    Replacing some polyunsaturated fat in the diet with monounsaturated fat may also reduce the risk of cancer because of a possible association between high intakes of polyunsaturated fat and cancer. (p. 1366, col. 2, top)


    At least two other study have found unexpected weight loss under controlled feeding conditions when nuts are part of the diet. (p. 1370, col. 2, top)

    The authors of the present study suggest that all of the fat found in nuts may not be absorbed because of the fiber makeup of nuts.


    “An almond-enriched [low calorie diet] improves a preponderance of the abnormalities associated with the metabolic syndrome,” the authors of the study concluded.


    Wien M, Sabate J, Ikle D, Cole S, Kandeel F. Almonds vs complex carbohydrates in a weight reduction program. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 2003 Nov, 27(11):1365-72.

    Wien M, Sabate J, Ikle D, Kandeel F. Almonds vs complex carbohydrates in a weight reduction program. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 2004 Mar, 28(3):459.

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    On Jul 14, 2010 at 6:14 pm jay wrote:

    . . . . .

    "HDL levels decreased in the almond group by 6 percent, whereas they increased by 15 percent in the complex carbohydrate group". You might want to recheck.

    On Jul 15, 2010 at 7:48 am Larry Hobbs wrote:

    . . . . .

    That is what they study says -- HDL levels increased by 15% in the carbohydrate group, and decreased by 6% in the almond group.

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