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Can You Eat Nuts (Almonds) on a Weight Loss Diet and Succeed?

8 months, 3 weeks ago

6011  0
Posted on Sep 27, 2023, 1 p.m.

Article courtesy of Dr. Joel Kahn, MD, who is a Clinical Professor of Medicine at Wayne State University School of Medicine, one of the world's top cardiologists, a best-selling author, lecturer, and a leading expert in plant-based nutrition and holistic care.

Globally, more than 1.9 billion adults are overweight (650 million with obesity). In Australia, where new research on weight loss diets was just completed, two in three people (approximately 12.5 million adults) are overweight or have obesity.

Can nuts be part of a weight loss diet?  When it comes to weight loss, nuts can get a bad rap. While they're high in protein, they're also high in fats, and this often deters those looking to shed a few kilos.

Researchers in Australia completed a 9-month study with either nut-rich or nut-free diets using almonds and the results are getting headlines around the world. Of note, the study was funded by the Almond Board of California. 


This study evaluated weight and cardiometabolic outcomes after a 3-month calorie-restricted diet (−30%) containing almonds (almond-enriched diet [AED]) or containing carbohydrate-rich snacks (nut-free control diet [NFD]) (Phase 1). After the first 3 months, the participants followed a weight maintenance diet for 6 months (Phase 2).

During both phases of the study, participants in the AED group incorporated 15% of their energy as unsalted, whole, natural Californian almonds with skins (e.g., 30–50 g of almonds), whereas participants in the NFD group included 15% of their energy from carbohydrate-rich snack foods (oven-baked fruit cereal bar and rice crackers)

Participants (25–65 years old) with overweight or obesity (BMI 27–35) were randomly allocated to AED (n = 68) or NFD (n = 72).


Both groups lost weight during Phase 1 (−7.0 kg AED vs. −7.0 kg NFD). Both groups in Phase 2 over the next 6 months lost an additional 1 kg of weight. There were also improvements in the percentage of lean mass after Phase 2 in both groups.

Reductions occurred in fasting glucose, insulin, blood pressure, total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (LDL-cholesterol), and triglycerides, while high-density lipoprotein (HDL-cholesterol) increased by the end of Phase 2 in both groups. T


An energy-restricted AED resulted in weight loss and weight loss maintenance comparable to an energy-restricted NFD, and both diets supported cardiometabolic health. The AED resulted in greater improvements in some lipoprotein subfractions, which may enhance reductions in cardiovascular risk.

This is the largest study to date to assess the benefits of incorporating almonds into an energy-restricted diet for weight loss and weight loss maintenance, and it contributes to the growing evidence that nuts can support a healthy diet for weight management. It also contributes to the limited knowledge of the effects of nuts on lipoprotein subfractions.

One of the researchers said "Nuts, like almonds, are a great snack. They're high in protein, fiber, and packed with vitamins and minerals, but they also have a high fat content which people can associate with increased body weight. Nuts can improve blood cholesterol levels, ease inflammation, and contribute to a healthy heart. Both the nut and nut-free diets resulted in an approximately 9.3% reduction in body weight over the trial. Additionally, nuts have the added benefit of making you feel fuller for longer, which is always a pro when you're trying to manage your weight."

Prior studies examining weight loss with another high-fat choice, olive oil, also demonstrated weight loss. 

About the author: At his core, Dr. Joel Kahn believes that plant-based nutrition is the most powerful source of preventative medicine on the planet. Having practiced traditional cardiology since 1983, it was only after his own commitment to a plant-based vegan diet that Dr. Kahn truly began to delve into the realm of non-traditional diagnostic tools, prevention tactics, and nutrition-based recovery protocols.

As with anything you read on the internet, this article should not be construed as medical advice; please talk to your doctor or primary care provider before changing your wellness routine. This article is not intended to provide a medical diagnosis, recommendation, treatment, or endorsement.

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