Original Article

European Journal of Clinical Nutrition (2013) 67, 1205–1214; doi:10.1038/ejcn.2013.184; published online 2 October 2013

Interventions and public health nutrition

Appetitive, dietary and health effects of almonds consumed with meals or as snacks: a randomized, controlled trial
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S Y Tan1 and R D Mattes2

  1. 1School of Pharmacy and Medical Sciences, University of South Australia, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
  2. 2Department of Nutrition Science, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, USA

Correspondence: Dr SY Tan, School of Pharmacy and Medical Sciences, University of South Australia, City East Campus, North Terrace, GPO Box 2471, Adelaide, South Australia 5001, Australia; E-mail: szeyen.tan@unisa.edu.au; RD Mattes, Department of Nutrition Science, Purdue University, 212 Stone Hall, 700 W State Street, West Lafayette, IN 47907, USA. E-mail: mattes@purdue.edu

Received 5 March 2013; Revised 25 July 2013; Accepted 28 August 2013
Advance online publication 2 October 2013

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Abstract

Background/Objectives:

 

Snacks contribute toward a significant proportion of human total daily energy intake. This study investigated the effects of almonds, a satiating and nutrient-rich, common snack, on postprandial glycemia, appetite, short-term body weight and fasting blood parameters when consumed with meals or alone as a snack.

Methods:

 

This was a 4-week randomized, parallel-arm study that entailed consuming almonds (43g/day) with breakfast (BF) or lunch (LN), alone as a morning (MS) or afternoon (AS) snack or no almonds (CL). Participants (N=137) with increased risk for type 2 diabetes completed an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) and acute-feeding session at baseline, followed by almond consumption for 4 weeks before repeating the OGTT and acute-feeding trials. Anthropometric, biochemical and appetite responses were assessed.

Results:

 

Almonds lowered serum glucose responses postprandially. Effects were most prominent in the snack groups. Almonds, consumed as snacks, also reduced hunger and desire to eat during the acute-feeding session. After 4 weeks, anthropometric measurements and fasting blood biochemistries did not differ from the control group or across intervention groups. Without specific guidance, daily energy intake was reduced to compensate for energy from the provided almonds. Dietary monounsaturated fat and α-tocopherol intakes were significantly increased in all almond groups.

Conclusion:

 

Almonds provide post-ingestive metabolic and appetitive benefits and did not increase the risk for weight gain. This suggests that almonds may be a healthful snack option.

Keywords:

randomized-controlled trial; almonds; body weight; blood glucose; appetite

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