But I’m HUNGRY!!!!!
Almonds — the next item on our budget-friendly and good-for-you grocery list — can get you over the hump.
Maybe you are among the crowd of folks who have always thought nuts were diet-killers. Not so! They are low-glycemic, healthy, and can give help you keep hunger at bay so that you can stay on your smart eating plan.
In fact, a study published in the International Journal of Obesity and Related Metabolic Disorders compared overweight subjects who ate a low calorie, high complex carbohydrate diet with those who ate a low calorie diet which included almonds. The almond-eaters won! They had a 62% greater reduction in weight, 50% reduction in waist circumference, and a 56% greater reduction in body fat compared to those on the low calorie, high carb diet.
Part of the reason almonds are helpful is their effect on blood sugar metabolism. Remember that a high glycemic meal causes your auto-pilot (the part of your brain that manages your body functions while you go about your business) to send the message to the pancreas to pump out the insulin. Insulin opens the door, in a way, to the cells so they can take in the energy (sugar) floating around in your bloodstream. Insulin also gives the cells the message to store up fat.
Eating high glycemic foods trains your body to make fat. Almonds have a glycemic number of 0 — so they don’t cause the blood sugar spike. Not only that, tests show that they help bring down the glycemic load of a meal and help stabilize blood sugar. That doesn’t mean you can make brownies with almonds and the nuts will cancel out the sugar, but eating a few almonds after a meal instead of a sugary dessert will help keep your blood sugar level stable and your over-all glycemic load low.
Almonds also make a good snack. You can carry some with you in a baggie and nibble on them instead of buying chips at the vending machine. While a bag of chips costs less than a bag of almonds, those greasy chips have a higher price tag in other ways. You can eat a few almonds and be satisfied. You can eat chips as long as there are any left in the bag and still want more.
Besides, almonds actually provide good fats that are heart-healthy and supply nutrients like manganese, vitamin E, and magnesium, among others. And their fiber and protein give energy and keep you satisfied. Winner all the way around!
Wait a minute, though! Make sure you get dry roasted almonds, not cooked in oil. And read the label to make sure they don’t have added ingredients like sugar, corn syrup or preservatives. You may want to buy and eat them raw, or roast your own. Spread the raw nuts on a cookie sheet in a single layer and roast them at 160 to 175 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 to 20 minutes. By leaving the chips, pretzels, and other snacks in the vending machine, you can afford to add almonds to your grocery list and munch on a few the next time you are just plain hungry!
Eating to live and living for Christ,
Susan Jordan Brown