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Am J Clin Nutr. 2012 Aug;96(2):249-54. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.112.037895. Epub 2012 Jun 27.

A randomized trial of the effects of an almond-enriched, hypocaloric diet in the treatment of obesity.

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Temple University, Center for Obesity Research and Education, Philadelphia, PA 19140, USA.



Increased consumption of nuts has been advocated because of their health benefits, but the role of nuts in the treatment of obesity is unclear given their high energy density.


This study was designed to evaluate the effects of a hypocaloric, almond-enriched diet (AED) compared with a hypocaloric nut-free diet (NFD) on body weight and cardiovascular disease risk factors in the context of an 18-mo behavioral weight-management program.


Overweight and obese individuals [n = 123; age = 46.8 y, BMI (in kg/m(2)) = 34.0] were randomly assigned to consume an AED or NFD and instructed in traditional behavioral methods of weight control. Anthropometric and metabolic measurements were made at baseline, 6 mo, and 18 mo.


Those in the AED group lost slightly but significantly less weight than did those in the NFD group at 6 mo (-5.5 compared with -7.4 kg; P = 0.04), but there were no differences at 18 mo. No significant differences in body composition were found between the groups at 6 or 18 mo. The AED, compared with the NFD, was associated with greater reductions in total cholesterol (P = 0.03), total:HDL cholesterol (P = 0.02), and triglycerides (P = 0.048) at 6 mo, and no differences were observed between the groups at 18 mo.


The AED and NFD groups experienced clinically significant and comparable weight loss at 18 mo. Despite smaller weight loss in the AED group at 6 mo, the AED group experienced greater improvements in lipid profiles. This trial was registered at as NCT00194428.

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