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Do Almonds Speed Up Your Metabolism?

By Erin Coleman, R.D., L.D.

Although almonds are high in calories, eating them doesn’t necessarily lead to weight gain. In fact, a study published in 2007 in the “British Journal of Nutrition” found that daily consumption of almonds for 10 weeks did not cause subjects to gain weight. Several suggested mechanisms exist to explain why high-calorie almonds are often beneficial for healthy weight management.

Rich in Protein

Since almonds are protein-rich foods, they can cause your body to burn more calories after you eat them -- but they don’t necessarily speed up your resting metabolism. Boosting the protein in your diet often results in an increase in your body’s energy expenditure, according to a 2009 study published in the “Journal of Nutrition.” Researchers who conducted this study report that increasing your protein intake also helps boost satiety, which can help you control your overall calorie intake.

High in Fiber

Another reason almonds are beneficial for healthy weight maintenance is because the calories in them are insufficiently absorbed by your body, according to the 2007 study in the “British Journal of Nutrition.” This may be -- at least in part -- because almonds are high-fiber foods, and your body generally doesn’t digest or absorb fiber. However, researchers who conducted this study report that no changes in the metabolic rate of study subjects -- who boosted their daily almond intake – were noted.

Also High in Calories

Although almonds generally don’t lead to weight gain because they are rich in protein and fiber, overindulging in them isn’t a good idea. One ounce -- about 23 kernels -- of almonds provides you with about 164 calories, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference. Eating just 500 extra calories daily can cause you to gain about 1 pound per week -- and potentially lead to overweight or obesity.

Other Ways to Boost Metabolism

If you have a slow metabolism and want to increase it, several strategies are effective. Regular cardiovascular exercise helps speed up your metabolism during and after workouts. Boosting your muscle mass by resistance training also causes your body’s metabolism to increase, even during periods of rest. If you have a thyroid disorder, such as hypothyroidism, that causes your body’s metabolism to be abnormally slow, check with your doctor about proper ways to treat the disorder and boost your metabolism up to a normal rate.

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