Packed with healthy fats, fiber, protein, magnesium and vitamin E, almonds have long been known as a source of essential nutrients. But a new study suggests snacking on almonds may also lower the hunger drive between meals as compared to consuming savory crackers with equivalent energy.
The study, published in the journal Nutrients, provides new evidence to support the impact of almonds on satiety. Choosing foods that enhance satiety – those that help sustain feelings of fullness – can be helpful in weight management, the researchers noted.
According to the study, snacking on almonds led to a suppressed unconscious desire to consume other high-fat foods, which could be useful in a weight management strategy. The study did not see a difference in the total day-long calorie intake with the almond snack but did see a reduction in calories consumed during lunch eaten two hours after the snack.
The research also found that the satiety quotient – the measure of the satiating capacity of foods relative to energy content – was stronger immediately after eating the almonds than crackers. Participants also perceived almonds to be the healthier snack between the two.
The research examined the effect of consuming almonds as a mid-morning snack compared to savory crackers. In the study, 42 female participants aged between 26 and 34 years ate a fixed breakfast and then a mid-morning snack. The researchers assessed appetite sensations, energy intake, food hedonics (liking) and consumer perceptions.
The study found that people who snacked on almonds as a mid-morning snack reported a lower overall hunger drive compared to crackers with equal calories. Almonds suppressed hedonic preference or implicit wanting to consume other high-fat foods and demonstrated a higher satiety quotient (SQ) than crackers.
These new findings, as well as the growing demand for healthy foods, are likely to contribute to the growth of the almond market. Poised to reach over $6.4 billion by the year 2025, the almond market will bring in healthy gains adding significant momentum to global growth.