This article has been Fact-Checked by Kendall Kennedy MS, RD, RYT
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Choosing what to eat when trying to lose weight can get a bit confusing. What about almonds, are they good for weight loss or fattening?
Almond is the name used for both a species of tree and the seeds inside the fruit that grows on the tree. Botanically they are not considered part of the nuts category, in terms of nutrients and culinary use you can consider almonds as nuts.
Many people are worried about how the high fat content of nuts and almonds, in particular, will impact their weight loss. Find out whether this aspect of almonds interferes with weight loss, what the best way to eat them is, and how this nut compares to other popular nuts when it comes to losing weight.
Micronutrients in almonds
The first thing to look at is the amount of micronutrients in almonds.
Micronutrients are a group of nutrients your body absolutely needs to survive and thrive. Micronutrients include vitamins and minerals. These are involved in basically every aspect of your health, including weight loss.
100 grams of almonds provides you with approximately (1):
- Vitamin E: 131% of the DV (Daily Value)
- Manganese: 114% of the DV
- Magnesium: 67% of the DV
- Riboflavin: 60% of the DV
- Copper: 50% of the DV
- Phosphorus: 48% of the DV
- Calcium: 26% of the DV
- Iron: 21% of the DV
- Zinc: 21% of the DV
- Potassium: 20% of the DV
- Niacin: 17% of the DV
- Thiamin: 14% of the DV
- Folate: 12% of the DV
And a few others in smaller amounts. These are extremely good micronutrient contents per 100 grams. If you combine them with a healthy diet your micronutrient levels will most likely be great.
Almonds also contain anti-oxidants. These are substances that help your body deal with oxidative stress, damage that occurs from day to day.
Fiber in almonds for weight loss
Another very important factor for weight loss is the amount of fiber in your food.
Almonds contain around 12.2 grams of fiber per 100 grams.
This is an enormous amount compared to most other foods. And this is a good thing.
Fiber has multiple benefits for weight loss. First of all, it feeds your microbiome, the microbes that live in your intestines. The health of your microbiome influences your body’s health and weight. Feeding it well is usually not a bad idea.
Fiber also helps you feel less hungry without adding a lot of calories to your diet. Hunger and cravings can be a big pitfall for people trying to lose weight, so avoiding this is a big plus.
With the amount of fiber in almonds you can reduce the time you spend craving for food a lot.
Protein in almonds for weight loss
Another thing in food that can help you on your weight loss journey is the amount of protein in it.
Almonds contain about 21.2 grams of protein per 100 grams. To compare, this is fairly close to the 25.4 grams per 100 grams in salmon (2). If you do the calculations the amount of protein in 1 almond is about 0.25 grams. This makes almonds in general a great source of plant-based protein.
Protein is considered to be the most filling of the 3 macronutrients. Eating enough protein will also help you prevent muscle loss. Muscle helps you burn extra calories throughout the day which is very good for weight loss. Protein calories also take your body more calories to process than calories from carbs and fats.
The amount of protein in almonds is very good for a plant-based source of protein. You will most likely also need protein from other foods but almonds can get you well on your way to your daily goals.
Do keep in mind that overdoing it with protein isn’t good either.
Are almonds good for losing weight?
To know whether or not you can eat almonds while trying to lose weight you still need a final piece of the puzzle. The amount of calories in almonds.
Almonds contain around 575 calories per 100 grams. 87.7 these calories come from the carbohydrates (21.7 g per 100 grams of which 12.2 g fiber).
One the one hand you have these awesome amounts of micronutrients, fiber and plant based protein but on the other hand you have this large amount of calories.
The thing is that the calorie content from nuts does not get absorbed that well compared to many other foods (3, 4). Even with that in mind, the message is that it might be hard to fit in the calories from almonds in your daily diet plan but it might be worth it.
You also don’t have to go for the full 100 grams every day. 30 grams could be enough to provide you with some great nutrients without skyrocketing the number of calories you consume every day.
Depending on your current diet a certain amount of almonds can help you lose weight by helping you feel a lot fuller and helping you consume more protein. This can help you avoid high-calorie foods that may interfere with your weight loss.
Almonds can be a great healthy snack for weight loss but if you overdo it, they might be fattening due to the high amount of calories in it.
Who should not eat almonds
While almonds can be a great addition to the diet for most people, some people are allergic to it.
How many almonds should you eat a day to lose weight?
Nutrition is always a bit of a puzzle in terms of what the perfect diet looks like. It’s a pretty individual thing.
A typical serving of 1 ounce almonds is about 23 whole almonds.
Some people use this 1 oz serving size as a daily recommendation but in reality, it isn’t as simple as that. There is for example no way that a 200-pound man and 140-pound woman should eat the same amount of almonds a day to lose weight.
You need to determine for yourself how many almonds fit in your daily calories. The amount will be different from individual to individual from day to day, it can be 0 too.
Do almonds help you lose belly fat?
Targetting fat loss in a specific area like your belly is generally not possible. Not by eating more of a specific food or by doing a specific exercise. To lose belly fat you have to lose weight overall.
Since a certain amount of almonds can help you lose weight in general this food can also help you lose belly fat once your body wants to lose fat in your abdominal area.
Difference between blanched and unblanched almonds
If you’re look around for almonds you may notice that there are different versions you can buy.
One of the common differences you will find is blanched versus unblanched. This basically means with the brown coat around the almonds or without it.
Removing this coat changes the nutrient contents of almonds. First of fall, it slightly reduces the amount of fiber in them. Secondly it can reduce the amount of antoixdants in them by a relatively big amount (3).
On the nutritional side, it’s hard to justify choosing blanched almonds over unblanched almonds, even if the differences aren’t that big in absolute numbers.
There are studies about the potential of eating more almonds for weight loss.
First of all, consuming nuts (almonds are not considered nuts botanically but nutritionally they resemble a lot), can potentially boost your metabolism, the amount of calories you burn each day (4).
Almonds can also be better than complex carbohydrates for both weight loss and health (5).
Almonds vs other popular nuts for weight loss
You now know how good almonds are for weight loss but how do they compare to certain other popular nuts? Find out how good almonds are for weight loss vs walnuts, peanuts, and cashews.
Almonds vs walnuts
Walnuts contain 6.7 grams of fiber so quite an amount lower than almonds. Also in terms of protein walnuts contain less, 15.2 grams per 100 grams. Walnuts also have slightly lower amounts of vitamins and minerals.
One benefit walnuts do have is that they are higher in omega 3 fats than almonds. It’s not yet clear how much of a difference that makes when it comes to weight loss.
All in all, almonds are most likely better for weight loss than walnuts.
Almonds vs peanuts
Next there is almonds vs peanuts. Peanuts are technically not a nut but in terms of nutrition, this legume is very similar to nuts. Peanuts are very slightly lower in calories than almonds, 567 calories per 100 grams vs the 575 calories per 100 grams of almonds (7).
Peanuts contain around 8.5 grams of fiber per 100 grams. A big amount lower than the 12.2 grams of fiber per 100 grams in almonds. Peanuts contain about 25.8 grams of protein per 100 grams. These 2 foods are about the same when it comes to the amounts of vitamins and minerals. Peanuts may have a small amount more.
It’s hard to predict the difference on weight loss and this will most likely depend on the individual consuming them. If you had to pick one, almonds would likely be slightly better for weight loss.
Almonds vs cashews
The amount of fiber is a lot different. Cashews have about 3.3 grams of fiber per 100 grams vs the 12.2 grams of almonds. Cashews contain about 18.2 grams of protein per 100 grams, so again lower than almonds. In terms of the amount of vitamins and minerals, almonds and cashews are very similar.
The difference in fiber makes a big difference when it comes to losing weight. This makes almonds better than cashews for weight loss.
Chart of almonds vs other popular nuts
There are some interesting differences in nutritional content that will most likely matter when it comes to weight loss. As you can see, almonds are one of the best nuts for weight loss.
The amount of vitamins and minerals in the foods does matter for weight loss and health but you can’t simplify that in one number. You can check out the numbers for almonds (1), walnuts (6), peanuts (7), and cashews (8) to compare.
|Values Per 100g||Almonds||Walnuts||Peanuts||Cashews|
|Calories||575 calories||654 calories||567 calories||553 calories|
|Fiber||12.2 g||6.7 g||8.5 g||3.3 g|
|Protein||21.2 g||15.2 g||25.8 g||18.2 g|
Shop for almonds:
You can get the benefits from almonds in many different shapes, you can shop for them online.