Background: Due to the wholesome benefits of nuts increased consumption of them has been recommended. However, because of nut's high energy density, the role of them in the treatment of overweight and obesity is vague. This current clinical trial study aims to investigate the effects of a balanced hypocaloric almond-enriched diet (AED) (almond group) in comparison to a balanced hypocaloric nut-free diet (NFD) (nut-free group) on body weight and cardiovascular disease risk factors in women with body mass index (BMI) >25 for 3-month.
Materials and methods: A total of 108 overweight and obese women were assigned in our 3-month randomized controlled trial. The subjects were randomly divided into two groups regarding a balanced hypocaloric diet with or without almond. The planned reduced calorie diets for both groups were identical except for the almond group who consumed 50 g of almonds daily. Anthropometric and laboratory measurements of the participants who completed the study were made prior to and at the end of the study.
Results: A total of 100 subjects completed the study. Weight, BMI, waist circumference, waist to hip circumference ratio, total cholesterol, and triglyceride, total: High density lipoprotein-cholesterol (HDL-C), fasting blood sugar and diastolic blood pressure decreased significantly in the almond group compared to the nut-free group (P > 0.001). Greater reduction in low density lipoprotein-cholesterol (P > 0.002) and systolic blood pressure (P > 0.001) and greater increase in HDL-C (P = 0.001) were found in the nut-free group.
Conclusion: The balanced hypocaloric AED in comparison to the balanced hypocaloric NFD led to a greater weight-loss and overall better improvements in studied cardiovascular disease risk factors.
Keywords: Almond; blood glucose; caloric restriction; lipids; nuts; obesity; overweight; weight reduction program; weight-loss.