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November 2020
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Chew on This: Almonds

Study:  Vigorous Chewing on Almonds Suppresses Appetite

Chewing on almonds increases satiety and suppresses appetite.

Chewing on almonds increases satiety and suppresses appetite.

In a recent article, I talked about a certain chewing gum company promoting the fact that one ought to chew gum to avoid snack attacks in the middle of the afternoon.  Aside from the fact that traditional chewing gum is loaded with chemicals that can send your digestive system for a loop, I suppose this isn’t such a bad idea for appetite suppression.

But as a natural health nut, I tend to side with natural alternatives.  And speaking of nuts, almonds are one such appetite suppressant.

In a new study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, approximately 13 participants were tasked with a rather interesting objective:  not just to eat a certain amount of almonds for a certain amount of time, but to chew them a certain number of times.

For instance, some of the participants were given 55 grams of almonds.  Whenever they ate the almonds, they were instructed to chew them at least 10 times before swallowing.  Others were told to chew 25 times, and the final third to chew 40 times before swallowing.

The study’s results confirmed what our parents always told us about the importance of making sure we “chew well” before swallowing.  Not just because chewing more reduces the chances of choking, but also because those who chewed their almonds at least 40 times were less likely to report feeling hungry two hours later.  The researchers determined this based on the participants own accounting, but also based on blood samples that measured appetite-suppressing hormones released.

The Purdue University researchers conclude that the continuous chewing of almonds increases the bioavailability of the unsaturated fat in almonds for the body’s other cells.  And as we all know, fat is the most dense form of calories, thus foods higher in fat tend to satiate the body longer than foods lower in fat.  But unlike the unhealthier forms of fat – the saturated kind – the unsaturated kind is satisfying the body’s gastronomic appetites in a healthy fashion.

Now this study was very, very small – 13 people, is all – so it can only be given so much credibility at this point; then again, it’s been published in one of the most widely heralded and respected health journals in the world today, and it promotes a food that’s already well-known for its array of health benefits.

And perhaps most importantly, it advocates chewing on something that isn’t nutritionally barren and packed with health-altering chemicals.

So, the next time you’re hungry and you recall that gum commercial advising you to “chew on this,” grab a handful of almonds and give your body the fuel it needs by chewing on some nutritious nuts instead.  Just keep your parents’ advice from yesteryear in mind and remember to “chew well.”


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