There are many benefits from using ingredients that support consumers’ healthy eating needs, and now nutrition researchers have discovered an additional benefit: almonds have a positive impact on hormones. A new study comprising adults with overweight and obesity showed almond consumption helped improve crucial appetite-regulating hormones.

The study involved 140 adults with overweight or obesity (42 males, 98 females). Participants consumed unsalted, whole, natural almonds with skins (intervention) or an oven-baked fruit cereal bar (control) and had their levels of appetite-regulating hormones and self-reported appetite ratings measured over a subsequent 2-hour period. The almond portion provided was approximately 30 to 50 grams of almonds (depending upon which calorie level the participant followed). A subset of participants was then invited individually to dine freely at a buffet over a 30-minute period. Appetite ratings were measured at the conclusion of the buffet experience. Researchers explored if almond consumption, when compared to the carbohydrate snack, influenced how much people would consume from the buffet.

Researchers measured appetite-regulating hormones: ghrelin, glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide, glucagon-like peptide-1, leptin, pancreatic polypeptide, peptide YY, C-peptide, glucagon, and cholecystokinin.  Results showed that almond consumption resulted in improved hormonal responses, which reflected better control of insulin release and better blood glucose regulation. The body of scientific evidence suggests that despite their relatively high energy density, almonds, when eaten as a part of a healthy diet, do not cause weight gain and may even have beneficial effects on body composition, especially in overweight or obese adults.