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New Almond Study Finds Chewing is More Than Meets the Mouth: Thorough Chewing May Influence Feelings of Fullness
Date:5/7/2009

MODESTO, Calif., May 7 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- As children, we all remember our mother telling us to chew our food well and later in life, realizing that chewing can help us to appreciate the taste and texture of food better. Now new research presented today to physicians attending the 17th European Congress of Obesity in Amsterdam and published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reveals that chewing may play a more complex role in the digestion process, impacting nutrient absorption, and feelings of satiety or fullness.

The study examined how chewing almonds may impact physiology including appetite and hunger, hormone response and the efficiency of fat absorption.(1) The study revealed that those who chewed two ounces of almonds longer, 25 or 40 times before swallowing, absorbed significantly more good, unsaturated fat, than those who chewed the almonds only 10 times before swallowing.

The study also explored the implications of thoroughly chewed almonds on satiety, measuring the effects on hormones and hunger scale ratings. Increased fat in the small intestine often stimulates secretion of several hormones associated with feelings of fullness. Researchers measured these hormones and also required participants to fill out an appetite questionnaire before and after eating almonds. Although overall there were only significant effects on the hormone insulin, subjects who chewed almonds a greater number of times, reported feeling significantly less hungry and more full than when they chewed the almonds less.

"This new almond research indicates that chewing more thoroughly may increase the availability of unsaturated fat and previous research suggests smaller particle size also impacts the availability of other nutrients present in the fat, like vitamin E, to the body," explained study author Richard Mattes, PhD, RD, at Purdue University. "These findings also emphasize the importance of examining chewing in the context of a weight management plan because participants reported their hunger was suppressed and their fullness was enhanced as a result of increased chewing of the almonds."

This new study builds on research commissioned by the Almond Board of California and published in 2008 that found thoroughly chewing almonds resulted in an increased release of good, unsaturated fats, and vitamin E.(2) These studies suggest that how much we chew or don't chew a food may impact bioaccessibility of nutrients. Bioaccessibility is the total amount of a nutrient that can be obtained from a food. Different factors can impact the bioaccessibility of a nutrient, including the interaction with other nutrients or the food form -- many small pieces or one larger piece. In the case of almonds, all the nutrients are delivered in one tiny nut, encapsulated by cell walls that are invisible to the naked eye. Almonds' cell walls break when we chew, releasing nutrients like vitamin E and unsaturated fat for absorption in the body. The more we chew almonds, the more cell walls break and nutrients are released into the body.

How Do You Eat Your Almonds?

According to a recent 2008 Mintel study, 86 percent of individuals polled consider nuts and seeds a good snack choice.(3) This new research has given snackers something more to chew on when it comes to selecting and enjoying their next one-ounce snack of California Almonds, suggesting that the longer you chew almonds, the more nutrient benefits you may gain. Chewing thoroughly -- up to 40 chews -- will release more good fats, and vitamin E, while also giving you the feeling of fullness that results in a satisfying snacking experience. To discover more benefits of including almonds as part of your eating plan, visit www.AlmondsAreIn.com.

Study at a Glance(1):

  • The People: 13 individuals (five women and eight men) were recruited from public advertisements. The average age was 24 years.
  • The Diet: Participants were given two ounces of whole almonds and were told to chew the almonds 10, 25, or 45 times depending on the research protocol or treatment week. Participants then rated their hunger before and after ingesting the almonds. Researchers collected fasting and postprandial (after almond snack) blood samples to measure changes in hormone response and collected stool samples to measure lipid excretion after almond consumption. Additionally, researchers monitored all food intake during the treatment weeks by providing participants with a four-day cycle menu that consisted of three meals and a snack.
  • The Results: Researchers found that chewing almonds longer impacts fullness, with participants reporting hunger was suppressed significantly longer when they chewed the almonds very well, 40 chews (P<0.05). Chewing almonds longer also influenced the availability of good, unsaturated fat, available for absorption, with lipid excretion significantly higher after 10 chews than after 25 or 40 chews (P<0.05). There were also significant treatment effects on the appetite hormone, insulin, with insulin declining faster after consumption of the almonds that were well-chewed (25 or 40 chews).
  • One serving of almonds (28g) has 13g of unsaturated fat and only 1g of saturated fat.(4)

Summary of Published Study:

Journal: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, March 2009

Research Organization: Purdue University

Study Title: "Mastication of almonds: effects of lipid bioaccessibility, appetite, and hormone response."

Authors: Bridget A Cassady, James H Hollis, Angie D Fulford, Robert V Considine, and Richard D Mattes.

Objective: Investigate the role mastication of almonds on the bioaccessibility of lipids, post-prandial hormone response, and appetite/hunger ratings.

Subjects: Thirteen participants, 8 men and 5 women. The mean age of the subjects was 24 +/- 1.8 years

Study description: In a randomized, 3-arm, crossover study, 13 healthy adults (body mass index, in kg/m2: 23.1 + 0.4) chewed 55g almonds 10, 25, or 40 times. Blood was collected and appetite was monitored during the following 3 hours. Over the next 4 days, all foods were provided, including 55g almonds, which were consumed under the same chewing conditions. Complete fecal samples were collected.

Results: Hunger was acutely suppressed below baseline (P<0.05), and fullness was elevated above baseline longer (P<0.05) after 40 chews than after 25 chews. Two hours after consumption, fullness levels were significantly lower and hunger levels were significantly higher after 25 chews than after 10 and 40 chews (P<0.05). Initial postingestive glucagon-like peptide-1 concentrations were significantly lower after 25 chews than after 40 chews (P<0.05) and insulin concentrations declined more rapidly after 25 and 40 chews than after 10 chews (both P <0.05). Fecal fat excretion was significantly higher after 10 chews than after 25 and 40 chews (both P<0.05). All participants had higher fecal energy losses after 10 and 25 chews than after 40 chews ( P<0.005).

About the European Congress of Obesity

The European Congress of Obesity is one of the world's leading obesity congresses. Organized by the International Association for the Study of Obesity (IASO) it attracts over 2,000 delegates from throughout the world. IASO's mission is to improve global health by promoting the understanding of obesity and weight-related diseases through scientific research and dialogue, while encouraging the development of effective policies for their prevention and management. IASO, is a not-for-profit organisation linking over 50 regional and national associations with over 10,000 professional members in scientific, medical and research organisations. It is an umbrella organisation for national obesity associations which comprises 52 member associations, representing 56 countries.

Endnotes:

1 Cassady, BA., Hollis, JA., Fulford, AD., Considine, RV., Mattes, RD. Mastication of almonds: effects of lipid bioaccessibility, appetite, and hormone response. J Am Clin Nutr. 2009 March: 89(3):794-800.

2 Mandalari, G. Faulk, RM, Rich GT, Lo Turco V, Picout DR, Lo Curto RB, Bisignano G, Dugo P, Dugo G, Waldron KW, Ellis PR, Wickham MS. Release of protein, lipid, and vitamin E from almond seeds during digestion. J Agric Food Chem 2008 May 14;56(9):3409-16. Epub 2008 Apr 17. http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/jf073393v.

3 The Sterling Rice Group, Mintel 2008. Healthy Snacking U.S.

4 The USDA Nutrient Laboratory Database, Release 20.

The Almond Board of California administers a grower-enacted Federal Marketing Order under the supervision of the United States Department of Agriculture. Established in 1950, the Board's charge is to promote the best quality almonds, California's largest tree nut crop. For more information on the Almond Board of California or almonds, visit www.AlmondsAreIn.com.


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SOURCE Almond Board of California
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