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People eating 3 oz almonds w/ 1,000 calorie diet lost 43 lbs in 6 months vs 27 lbs w/ complex carbs
Monday, July 09, 2018 1:40 pm Email this article
People eating 3 ounces of almonds per day (84 grams) as part of a 1,000 calorie per day, low-calorie diet lost 43 pounds in six (6) months compared to 26.6 pounds in people eating the same amount of complex carbohydrates according to a 2003 study from researchers at the City of Hope, National Medical Center in Duarte, California.
Almonds contain 32% fewer calories than previously thought, and 3 oz of almonds reduce calories absorbed of entire diet by 5%
In 2012, USDA researchers found almonds contain 32% fewer calories than previously thought, and found that 3 oz of almonds added to the diet reduced calories absorbed of the entire diet by 5%.
Weight Loss (in 2003) Was Unexpected
“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 noted. (p. 1370, col. 1)
Weight loss not affected by gender, diabetes or hypertension
The difference in weight loss between the groups was not affected by gender, type 2 diabetes, or hypertension.
Weight Loss in Almond Group Still Going After 6 Months
Those in the almond group lost weight over a longer period of time, and were still losing weight after 6 months
People eating the almond-enriched diet 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 (6) months when the study ended, whereas those eating the complex carbohydrate diet appeared to have reached a plateau after four (4) months.
Why did the almond group lose so much more weight—an additional 16 lbs—than the carbohydrate group when both groups ate 1,000 calories per day?
Why did almonds cause more weight loss than complex carbohydrates when calorie intake was the same in both groups (1,000 calories/day)?
Almonds contain 32% fewer calories than previously thought: one (1) oz. contains 132 calories, not 170 calories
A 2012 study from the U.S.D.A. (Novotny, 2012) found that almonds contain 32% fewer calories than previously thought.
They found that one ounce (28 grams) of almonds contains 132 calories rather than 170 calories as previously thought.
3 oz. of almonds/day reduces calories absorbed from diet by 5%
The USDA researchers also found that 3 ounces of almonds per day reduced the number of calories absorbed from the entire diet by 5%.
Here is more information from the weight loss study.
Fat Loss: 29 lbs vs 20 lbs
The almond 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.
Subjects: 65 people, 27-79 years
The study involved 65 overweight and obese adults who were 27- to 79-years-old.
Both Diets: 1,000 calories/day, 72 grams of protein
The diet that was prescribed to both groups contained 1,000 calories per day.
Both diets contained 72 grams of protein 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.
Exercise: 20-30 minutes of walking 3-5 times per week
Both groups were encouraged to walk 20 to 30 minutes three to five times per week.
Ketone levels: +260% in almond group vs +0% in carbohydrate group
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 Pressure dropped from 143 to 127 in almond group (16 points) vs 140 to 138 in carbohydrate group (2 points)
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 changed by -6% in almond group vs +15% in 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 fell by 54% in almond group vs 32% in 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 fell by 66% in almond group vs 35% in 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.
Diabetes Drugs: 96% of patients in almond group reduced drugs vs 50% in carbohydrate group
Among subjects with type 2 diabetes, 96% of patients in the almond group maintained or reduced their diabetes medication versus 50% of people in the carbohydrate group.
Other studies have found unexpected weight loss with nuts added to the diet
Other studies have found unexpected weight loss under controlled feeding conditions when nuts are part of the diet. (p. 1370, col. 2, top)
Conclusion: An almond-enriched diet helps with metabolic syndrome
“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.
Author’s Contact Info
Dr M. A. Wien
Department of Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism
City of Hope National Medical Center
1500 East Duarte Road
Duarte, CA 91010, USA
Other Reference to USDA paper
Novotny JA, Gebauer SK, and Baer DJ. Discrepancy between the Atwater factor predicted and empirically measured energy values of almonds in human diets. Am J Clin Nutr, 2012 Aug; 96(2): 296-301.
Author’s Contact Info
Janet A. Novotny
USDA, Agricultural Research Service,
Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center,
307B Center Road, Beltsville, MD 20705 USA
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