Monday, October 28, 2013

The savvy snacker's secret? Eating 30 almonds a day reduces hunger pangs and doesn't cause weight gain  -- if you are a pre-diabetic

The actual finding was that the nuts did nothing.  Total calorie intake was unaffected

Snacking has become something of a national pastime, with an estimated 97 per cent of people munching their way through at least one snack a day.  While this habit may keep hunger at bay, it's fuelling an obesity epidemic.

Now new American research may hold the answer -  munching on almonds can reduce hunger without increasing weight.

Researchers at Purdue University, in Indiana, found that eating 1.5oz of dry-roasted, lightly salted almonds every day reduced volunteers’ hunger, improved their Vitamin E levels and ‘good’ fat intake, and did not cause them to pile on the pounds.  1.50z of almonds is equivalent to 43g or around 30 individual nuts.

The researchers conducted a four-week trial to investigate the effects of eating almonds on weight and appetite.

The study included 137 adults at increased risk of type 2 diabetes.  The participants were divided into five groups - a control group that avoided all nuts and seeds, a group that ate 1.5oz of almonds at breakfast and one that ate the nuts at lunch.

There was also a group that snacked on them in the morning, and one that ate them in the afternoon.

The volunteers were not given any other rules other than to follow their usual eating patterns and physical activity.

The results showed that even though they were eating approximately 250 calories a day in the form of the almonds, they did not eat any more calories overall.

‘This research suggests that almonds may be a good snack option, especially for those concerned about weight,’ said Dr Richard Mattes, professor of nutrition science at Purdue University and the study's lead author.

‘In this study, participants compensated for the additional calories provided by the almonds so daily energy intake did not rise.

‘They also reported reduced hunger levels and desire to eat at subsequent meals, particularly when almonds were consumed as a snack [as opposed to during a meal].’

Almonds have also previously been shown to increase the feeling of fullness in both normal weight, and overweight people.

This is thought to be due to almonds' monounsaturated fat, protein, and fibre content.

Previous research has shown that eating almonds can cut a person's risk of liver cancer because of the nuts’ Vitamin E content.

The Vitamin E in almonds is also thought to protect against heart disease and eye damage in old age.

Another study suggested that eating almonds can help prevent diabetes because it can help improve insulin sensitivity and reduce cholesterol levels.


If you want your partner to trust you, make them an omelette: Compound found in eggs credited with increasing feelings of trust

That hormones can influence behaviour, every married man knows, but it seems unlikely that diet would have lasting effects

Chaps, if you fear your wife doesn’t entirely trust you, get on her good side by whipping up an omelette.  And to really make an impression, serve chocolate mousse for dessert.

Research has credited tryptophan, a compound found in eggs and chocolate, with increasing feelings of trust.

Other foods rich in tryptophan include red meat, cottage cheese, spinach, nuts and seeds, bananas, tuna, shellfish and turkey.

The advice follows a study in which Dutch researchers asked a group of volunteers to pair up and take part in a game of trust.

In the game, the first member of the pair is given some money and given the option of giving some to their partner.  The gifted cash is then tripled and the second person can then give some of it back.

The game is seen as a measure of trust because the first player could end up a lot better off but only if he trusts the second player enough to give him a large sum initially.

Those taking part in the study were given orange juice to drink and in half of the cases, the juice was supplemented with tryptophan.

Players who had the tryptophan transferred almost 40 per cent more cash, the journal Psychological Science reports.

The Leiden University researchers said: ‘Interpersonal trust is an essential element of social life and co-operative behaviour.

‘After all, most people will only work together if they expect others to do so also, making mutual trust an important precondition for establishing mutual co-operation.  ‘We found that people who took tryptophan transferred significantly more euros than people who took the placebo.

‘Our results support the materialist approach that you are what you eat, the idea that the food one eats has a bearing on one’s state of mind.  ‘So the food we take may act as a cognitive enhancer that modulates the way we think and perceive the physical and social world.

‘In particular, the supplementation of tryptophan or diets containing tryptophan may promote interpersonal trust in inexpensive, efficient and healthy ways.’

Tryptophan is formed in the body during the digestion of some proteins and is a building block of the ‘feel-good’ brain chemical serotonin.

It is also a natural sedative, which has led to it being blamed for making people doze off after eating a big turkey dinner.


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