Looking for a healthy snack that you’ll actually want to eat? Reaching for a nutritious snack can be just what you need to tide you over in between meals or give you a boost of energy for that workout. But not all snacks are created equal. That’s why it’s time to kick those high-fat, processed potato chips aside and add a nutrient-dense nut to your diet. Not only do nuts satisfy your craving for a delicious snack and a satisfying crunch, but they can also do wonders for your overall health as you age and help reduce visceral fat. But, what’s the healthiest nut you can snack on and still lose weight?
To learn more, we spoke with Krutika Nanavati, a registered dietitian, and nutritionist, and Paulina Lee, a registered dietitian and founder of Savvy Stummy, LLC. They said that almonds are by far the best because they are rich in fiber, protein, healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals that will help you burn fat.
This nutritious nut is considered a nutrient powerhouse. Almonds are high in antioxidants, protein, fiber, and one crucial vitamin - vitamin E. "Almonds are a good source of vitamin E, which is an antioxidant that helps protect cells from damage," Nanavati says. The antioxidants in almonds protect the body against a range of health risks, including heart disease, cancer, and more. They can also help reduce inflammation in the skin and help with weight loss.
Almonds are also high in monounsaturated fats, a type of dietary fat. Monounsaturated fats offer digestive benefits for weight loss and they're generally considered the healthiest fats for weight loss. Much of almonds' health benefits come from their healthy fat content. "Almonds are rich in monounsaturated fats, which have been shown to lower cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease," Nanavati notes.
Lee notes that almonds "contain the perfect combo of protein, healthy fats, and fiber." She continues, "Almonds may promote gut health by supporting the growth of beneficial gut bacteria, including Bifidobacteria and Lactobacillus species. Having more optimal gut health and a balanced gut microbiome may reduce insulin resistance and inflammation linked to obesity."
One of the biggest fat-blasting benefits of this nut is the fact that it contains high levels of protein, which "can lead to increased metabolism." Lee explains that "because protein takes longer to be used and absorbed, it has a higher thermic effect compared to fats and carbohydrates. Plus protein can help preserve muscle mass and keep your metabolism at its peak." And, "high protein content of nuts helps our bodies use more calories to digest them."
So, if you're looking for a snack that packs a healthy punch, almonds can make quite a big difference. They can be consumed whole, chopped, sliced, ground into almond flour, or almond butter. You can eat them as a snack, top your oatmeal with them, or even blend them into a smoothie. Almonds can even be made into an alternative, plant-based milk. Almonds are a fantastic metabolism-boosting ingredient. Plus, they're delicious - so it's a total win-win!
At the end of the day, maintaining a healthy diet that can help you lose weight and boost your metabolism is about more than just eating a healthy snack. Experts like Nanavati and Lee recommend almond nuts as a healthy snack for weight loss. Almonds are full of fiber, protein, healthy monosaturated fats, and immunity-boosting vitamins. They're also low in carbs - so almonds are a great snack to keep you fuller longer between meals and give you the energy boosts you need for your workouts.
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