Are Almonds As Healthy As You Think They Are?
Spoiler: they are. But here's what makes them so worthy.
Almonds are a go-to snackable nut—and a healthy snack at that. But they're also quite diverse: almonds are also turned into almond milk, almond oil, almond flour, and almond butter. Perhaps that's why our almond consumption has increased in recent years: the average American eats around 2 pounds of almonds a year.
With more almond options appearing in the grocery store, you may be wondering—how healthy are almonds? We'll tell you!
Nutrition Facts: What's in a Serving of Almonds?
In a 1-ounce serving, or 23 almonds, there are:
- Calories: 164
- Protein: 6g
- Fat: 14g
- Saturated fat: 1g
- Carbohydrate: 6g
- Sugars: 1g
- Fiber: 4g
- Sodium: 0mg
Compared to other tree nuts, almonds offer the most fiber, calcium, and vitamin E. Almonds are also a source of healthy unsaturated fats, as well as anti-inflammatory phytochemicals. (Other nuts also offer lots of health benefits—get our favorite healthy nuts to snack on.)
6 Health Benefits of Eating Almonds
Although you can "eat" almonds in a variety of forms these days, most (if not all) of the research has been done on eating actual almonds—whole, sliced, slivered, etc. Here are science-backed health benefits we found most compelling.
Filled with fiber
Of all of the tree nuts, almonds deliver the most fiber per serving. You get 4 grams, or 14 percent of your daily goal, in 23 almonds. Upping your fiber count is important because it's been shown that people who have fiber-rich diets have a lower risk of heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and obesity. And that's just the short list.
A study of studies published in 2019 reported that eating almonds for at least 3 weeks (sometime studies went longer) can significantly lower your total cholesterol and "bad" LDL cholesterol, but also your "good" HDL cholesterol.
Yes, eating almonds may keep your skin looking youthful, according to newer research. Researchers found that when postmenopausal women snacked on almonds daily (about 2 one-ounce servings) for about 4 months, their wrinkle width and wrinkle severity decreased significantly, compared to their counterparts who ate a nut-free snacks instead.
Lose belly fat
In a study of dieters, those who followed a 3-month calorie-restricted diet that included almonds lost more body fat, and also specifically lost fat in their midsection, than dieters who didn't include almonds in their weight-loss meal plan.
Improve your diet
Research shows that almond eaters tend to eat less sugar and saturated fat, as well as get more of key nutrients like fiber, calcium, potassium, iron, vitamins A, D, E, and C, folate, and magnesium. While eating almonds will literally add good-for-you nutrients to your diet, eating almonds doesn't necessarily and directly cause your diet to be healthier.
Keep hunger at bay
When women (in a small study) ate 1½ ounces almonds as a mid-morning snack (compared to when they ate an ounce of almonds or nothing at all), reported feeling the least hungry and naturally ate less at lunch and dinner. Almonds are packed with 3 hunger-busting nutrients—protein, fiber and fat. So adding them to your diet can help keep you satisfied.
You probably had some idea that almonds were healthy, but maybe you didn't know just how good they were for you. Whether you enjoy almond butter on toast, snack on almonds, or sprinkle slivers over your salad; it's a good idea to add almonds to your diet regularly.