Almonds provide many healthy nutrients including healthy fat and fiber.
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Almonds make for a delicious and nutritious snack. You can also add them to meals for extra crunch and flavor. Almonds are a good source of healthy fat and protein and other nutrients. Snack on 12 to 23 whole raw almonds or chop almonds and add to salads, desserts or hot dishes such as chicken to get all the benefits of these nuts.
Good for You Fat and Carbs
A serving of almonds is one-fourth cup, 1 ounce or about 23 raw almonds. One serving of almonds provides about 14 grams of fat which is mainly healthy unsaturated fat. Of these 14 grams of fat about 9 grams are monounsaturated fat and about 3 1/2 grams are polyunsaturated fat. A serving of almonds also contains around 6 grams of carbohydrates, mainly healthy-for you fiber. Of the 6 grams of carbohydrates in 1 ounce of almonds, 3 1/2 grams are fiber.
Monounsaturated Fat In Almonds
Although almonds contain both monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, they contain more monounsaturated fat. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics identifies almonds as a good source of this fat. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends getting 20 to 35 percent of your daily calories from fat while limiting saturated and trans fat. The Academy states there is no daily recommendation for how much of your daily fat intake should be monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fat. Studies support that monounsaturated fats can lower bad cholesterol and blood sugar as long you replace saturated fats and carbohydrates with them. For example, snack on 1 ounce of almonds instead of 1 ounce of cheese or one tortilla.
Losing Weight with Almonds
A 2003 study published in the "International Journal Of Obesity And Related Metabolic Disorders" compared almonds with complex carbohydrates in two groups of people on a low calorie diet for weight loss. The study researchers found that the almond group experienced greater reductions in body weight, body fat, waist circumference and systolic blood pressure, while both groups experienced reductions in diastolic blood pressure, bad cholesterol and triglycerides. More studies are needed on this topic as the almond group experienced reductions in good cholesterol as well.
Fiber in Almonds
Too much fat and calories in the diet can lead to weight gain, but the fiber in almonds may actually block some of that fat absorbed from them, according to a study published in "The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition" in 2012. The reasoning behind this is that some of the fat is encapsulated in the almond's fiber, preventing you from absorbing it. Researchers of this study found that almonds may have only 129 calories per serving, which is 32 percent less than the 164 calories determined by the Atwater factor system used to calculate calories for Nutrition Facts labels.