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Randomized Controlled Trial
. 2013 Nov;67(11):1205-14.
doi: 10.1038/ejcn.2013.184. Epub 2013 Oct 2.

Appetitive, Dietary and Health Effects of Almonds Consumed With Meals or as Snacks: A Randomized, Controlled Trial

Free PMC article
Randomized Controlled Trial

Appetitive, Dietary and Health Effects of Almonds Consumed With Meals or as Snacks: A Randomized, Controlled Trial

S Y Tan et al. Eur J Clin Nutr. .
Free PMC article


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 (43 g/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.


Figure 1
Figure 1
Participant recruitment and randomization and study design.
Figure 2
Figure 2
Changes in serum glucose (a), insulin (b) and 60-min postprandial incremental AUC for glucose (c) during acute-feeding session at baseline. Legend: solid bars in (c) represent study groups that received 43 g almonds, whereas the lighter-shade bars were groups that received none.
Figure 3
Figure 3
Changes in hunger (a), fullness (b), desire to eat (c) ratings and 60-min postprandial incremental AUC for these appetite ratings (d) during acute-feeding sessions. Legend: solid bars in (d) represent study groups that received 43 g almonds. Bars in groups represent study groups CL, BF, MS, LN and AS from left to right.

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