Almonds for Weight Loss: Raw, Milk or Butter?

Too many almonds can make you fat. However, consuming reasonable amounts promotes weight loss. 1 handful of almonds a day is good for weight loss because almonds:

  • promote satiety
  • regulate glucose responses
  • increase energy expenditure
  • are rich in minerals that involved in fat metabolism
  • are the richest common food in vitamin E

A handful of almonds a day supports weight loss

Almonds are high in calories. A handful contains 164 calories. So, we shouldn’t consume too many almonds if we want to lose weight. A handful a day is enough. In fact, a handful of almonds a day, as part of a well-balanced, hypocaloric diet, is good for weight loss. Only active people and athletes, or people who don’t want to lose weight, can consume higher amounts

We don’t absorb all calories of almonds

Almonds, as all nuts and seeds, are high in calories. They have 579 calories per 100g or 164 calories per serving. Moreover, 10 almonds have approximately 70 calories, while 14–15 almonds have 100 calories. A handful of almonds provides about 8% of the calories in a 2,000-calorie diet.

Almonds have many calories because they’re particularly high in fat. Actually, 54% of almond weight comes from fat. 1 gram of fat has 9 calories, whereas carbs and protein have only 4 calories per gram.

But, almonds have healthy fats, which are good for the heart when consumed in moderation!

We can’t absorb all fat from almonds, though. According to a study, 20 women consumed about 60 grams of almonds a day for 10 weeks without any further diet changes didn’t gain any weight, despite almonds’ high calorie content.[1]

Consuming even 2 handfuls of almonds a day, as part of a well-balanced diet, is rather unlikely to make you fat.

Almond butter is also high in calories. It has 614 calories per 100g or 98 calories per tbsp. Almond butter is about 81% fat. For comparison, peanut and cow’s butter have 590 and 717 calories per 100g, respectively. Peanut butter has a similar calorie content to almond butter. Cow’s butter has about 16% more calories than almond butter.

Almond milk is low in calories. It has only 15 calories per 100 mL. A whole cup has less than 40 calories! If you want to lose weight, prefer drinking almond milk than cow’s milk. Whole cow’s milk has 61 calories, while 2% fat milk has 50 calories. Hence, cow’s milk has up to 4 times more calories than almond milk!

Almonds promote satiety

Almonds promote satiety because they’re particularly high in fiber and protein. So, moderate almond consumption helps us follow a low-calorie diet for weight loss long-term.

It’s better for you to eat almonds instead of any sugar-rich snack.

In addition, as almonds are low in net carbs, even people with diabetes and people on keto can regularly consume them.

Dry or roasted almonds have between 10 and 12.5 grams of fiber per 100g. A handful of almonds (about 23 almonds) provides 3.5 grams of fiber or 12% of the DV.

They’re 90% insoluble and only 10% soluble fiber. Insoluble fiber doesn’t dissolve in the water. It absorbs water, making the stool softer. So, it helps defecation. On the other hand, soluble fiber dissolves in water, turning to a gel. It slows down digestion, it’s filling, and supports weight loss.[2]

How much fiber is in other almond products?

Almond butter has about 10 grams of fiber per 100g. Just a tbsp of almond butter provides 1.65 grams of fiber or almost 6% DV. Actually, almond butter is the richest common spread in fiber! Only tahini has a similar fiber content.

Almond paste has a decent amount of fiber as well. It has 4.8 grams of fiber per 100g.

Almond flour is also rich in fiber. It has 9.3 grams of fiber per 100g. Just for comparison, whole wheat flour has about 10.6 grams of fiber per 100g. Almond flour is a great nutritional value, though. It’s an excellent dietary source of vitamin E, and it has a much higher protein content than wheat flour!

Almond milk has a negligible amount of fiber.


Almond is a great dietary source of protein. It has 21.2 g of protein per 100g or 6 grams of protein per handful.

5 almonds provide about 1.3 grams of protein.

10 almonds provide 2.5 grams of protein.

Almond butter is also a good dietary source of protein. It contains 21 grams of protein per 100g. A tbsp of almond butter contains 3.4 grams of protein. It has a similar protein content to peanut butter, which contains 24 grams of protein per 100g. Almond butter has about 14% less protein than peanut butter. In contrast, cow’s butter has negligible amounts of protein.

Almond flour is also rich in protein. It contains 26.2 grams of protein per 100g. For comparison, white flour has only 12 grams of protein per 100g, while whole wheat flour has 15.1 grams of protein. So, almond flour has twice the amount of protein as common grain flours.

Almond milk isn’t particularly rich in protein. It has only 0.55 grams of protein per 100 mL. A glass provides about 1.4 grams of protein! Cow’s milk is much richer in protein. It contains about 3.3 grams of protein per 100 mL or more than 8 g of protein per an 8 fl oz glass.

Unsaturated fats in almonds promote thermogenesis

According to studies, chronic consumption of nuts, such as almonds, may cause increased resting energy expenditure! Mainly because they’re high in unsaturated fats. Unsaturated fats are good for weight loss. They help the body burn more calories after a meal, increasing thermogenesis.[3]

Almonds are particularly rich in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids. These are healthy fats. In fact, when consumed in moderation, instead of saturated fatty acids, these fats are good for the heart.

Almond milk is pretty low in fat. It has only 1.2 grams of fat per 100g. A whole 8 fl oz glass of almond milk has only 3 grams of fat, of which only 0.1 grams is saturated fat!

In contrast, cow’s milk is particularly high in saturated fat. An 8 fl oz glass of whole milk contains 4.6 grams of saturated fat, while a 2% milk contains 2.7 grams of saturated fat. Hence, just a glass of cow’s milk contains up to 35% of the maximum safe amount of saturated fat on a 2,000-calorie diet! Moreover, cow’s milk has trans fat, which is dangerous for the heart. A glass of whole milk contains 0.3 grams of trans fat.[4]

Vitamin E deficiency & obesity

Furthermore, almonds are good for weight loss because they’re particularly rich in vitamin E. Actually, almonds are the richest common food in vitamin E, second only to sunflower seeds.

If you want to lose weight, you should get adequate amounts of vitamin E. Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant with anti-obesity properties! Overweight people tend to have low levels of vitamin E.[5]

Almonds contain compounds that prevent weight gain

Additionally, almonds are high in nutrients that are vital for a good metabolism, which burns belly fat. For instance, they’re an excellent source of calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and zinc!

100g1 oz
calcium (mg)26974
iron (mg)3,61
magnesium (mg)27177
phosphorus (mg)457130
potassium (mg)692196
zinc (mg)3,210,9
Nutrition value of almonds.

Zinc may reduce insulin resistance, and appetite in overweight people.[6]

Moreover, potassium deficiency has been associated with increased body mass index (BMI), and obesity. A diet rich in potassium and magnesium is important for weight loss.[7]

Also, almonds can help you burn fat, as they’re among the richest foods in riboflavin. A vitamin which is vital for fat metabolism.


Iron is a crucial component of hemoglobin, a protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen throughout the body. Low iron can cause fatigue and tiredness, making physical activity feel more challenging. Adequate iron levels can improve energy levels, potentially increasing your motivation and ability to exercise, which can aid in weight loss.

Iron deficiency can negatively affect thyroid function, which plays a role in metabolism. Maintaining healthy iron stores might indirectly support a healthy metabolism, although more research is needed in this area.

Almonds are rich in iron. They have 3.7 mg of iron per 100g or 1.05 mg per serving. A handful of iron provides 6% DV. So, the regular consumption of almonds can help us maintain normal levels of iron.

Almonds butter is also rich in iron. It has 3.5 mg of iron per 100g or 0.56 mg of iron per tbsp (3% DV). Tahini is the richest spread in iron, though.

Almond milk contains 0.29 mg of iron per 100 mL. A glass of almond milk provides 0.72 mg of iron or 4% DV. Cow’s milk has no iron.

Most nuts and seeds are excellent dietary sources of iron. They can help us meet our daily needs. In fact, cashews, pine nuts, hazelnuts, pistachios, and almonds are the richest nuts in iron!

iron (mg)
per 100g
iron (mg)
per 1 oz
% DV
pine nuts5.51.69%
Brazil nuts2.40.74%
Iron content of common nuts.


Calcium might play a role in regulating fat metabolism. Increased calcium intake could potentially promote the burning of stored fat. Also, calcium may bind to dietary fat in the digestive system, leading to less fat absorption by the body.

Moreover, calcium may influence hormones involved in appetite regulation, leading to feelings of fullness and potentially reducing calorie intake.

Getting enough calcium may lower the risk of developing cardiovascular disease, hypertension, stroke, atherosclerosis, and certain cancers.[9,10]

Almond is a great vegan source of calcium. Almonds contain 269 mg of calcium per 100g. A handful provides 76 mg of calcium or about 8% of the Daily Value. Raw and roasted almonds have a similar calcium content.

Almond butter is also rich in calcium. It contains 347 mg of calcium per 100g. A tbsp provides 55 mg of calcium or 5% DV.

Almond flour has 232 mg of calcium per 100g. Common flours are poor dietary sources of calcium. For instance, whole wheat flour has only 38 mg of calcium per 100g.

Almond milk is particularly rich in calcium as it’s fortified with calcium carbonate. It contains 173 mg of calcium per 100 mL. An 8 fl oz glass of almond milk provides approximately 432 mg of calcium or 36% DV. For comparison, cow’s milk contains 123 mg of calcium per 100 mL or 306 mg of calcium per serving. A glass of cow’s milk provides about 30% DV. You better consume cow’s milk and dairy in moderation, as they’re pretty high in saturated fats.

Most plant-based milks are fortified with calcium. Actually, they’re great dietary sources of highly bioavailable calcium. Almond milk is among the richest milks in calcium. It can help us meet our daily needs.

calcium (mg)
per 100g
calcium (mg)
per serving
% DV
coconut milk18847039%
almond milk17343336%
oat milk14837031%
2% cow’s milk12631526%
whole cow’s milk12330826%
rice milk11829525%
soy milk10125321%
Calcium content of common plant-based milks.

Tahini is the richest vegan spread in calcium.


A handful of almonds provides 0.91 mg of zinc or 10% DV.

Zinc deficiency has been associated with obesity, weak immune system, hair loss, depression, infertility, decreased sex drive, and even cancer. Zinc is a key compound for the natural synthesis of testosterone and muscle growth!

How many almonds can make you fat?

According to many studies, people lost weight by eating 1–2 handfuls of almonds a day. In fact, consuming up to 2 handfuls a day, preferably before a high-calorie meal, is good for weight loss.

However, people who follow a sedentary life shouldn’t consume more than 1 handful of almonds a day. Consuming too many almonds can make you gain weight because they have many calories. Actually, 3 handfuls of almonds contain more than 500 calories!

Only reasonable amounts of seeds and nuts, such as hazelnuts, walnuts, pistachios, and sunflower seeds are good for weight loss. All seeds and nuts have a great nutritional value, but also many calories.

What’s the best time to eat almonds for weight loss?

The best time to eat a handful of almonds for weight loss is before a high-calorie meal or at breakfast.

First, we can eat them on an empty stomach. Almonds are unlikely to cause stomach disturbances. Moreover, as almonds have negligible amounts of sugar, they don’t spike blood sugar, even when consumed on an empty stomach. They have a glycemic index of 0. Thus, we can eat them at breakfast or between meals as a healthy snack.[7]

As almonds have a low glycemic index, they lower the total glycemic index of a high-carbohydrate meal.

Furthermore, a handful of almonds before a high-calorie meal or in the morning reduces the secretion of appetite hormones. Almonds help control energy intake!

Fiber and protein in almonds promote satiety. Actually, foods high in water, protein, and fiber are more filling. Hence, you should drink a glass of water when consume almonds. Water expands fiber in the stomach, causing a greater filling effect.

Consuming almonds before a meal seems to improve body composition, reduce body fat percentage, and lower the dangerous visceral fat! Additionally, eating almonds before a high-carbohydrate meal may affect lipid metabolism and burn belly fat. Most noteworthy, consuming almonds before high-calorie meals can significantly reduce LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides.[11,12]

How to eat Almonds?

With a Protein source

Protein takes longer to digest than carbohydrates or fat, keeping you feeling fuller for longer. This can help you reduce cravings and overall calorie intake throughout the day.

During weight loss, there’s a risk of losing muscle mass along with fat. Protein helps preserve muscle tissue, which is important for metabolism as muscle burns more calories at rest compared to fat.

The body burns more calories digesting and using protein compared to carbs or fat, leading to a slight increase in metabolic rate. This can contribute to burning more calories overall.

Almonds aren’t a complete protein. They don’t contain adequate amounts of all 9 essential amino acids. They’re particularly poor in lysine. Hence, we should consume a wide variety of foods with protein in order to get high amounts of all the essential amino acids. Common foods high in lysine are meat, eggs, cheese, fish, tofu, avocado, quinoa, pumpkin seeds, and beans!

Moreover, the protein of almonds isn’t easily absorbed. It’s less bioavailable than other high-quality proteins. like milk, eggs, chicken, and soy protein.[13]

Protein in almonds is less bioavailable even from other plant-based foods, like beans, vegetables, fruits, and cereal.[11]


Soaking almonds improves their mineral bioavailability. Soaked almonds have a lower phytate and phytic acid content. These compounds inhibit the absorption of minerals in almonds.

Soaked almonds may have a slightly higher protein content than raw or dry almonds. But, soaking almonds won’t make any significant difference on your daily protein intake.[14]

Moreover, phytates and polyphenols in nuts are iron inhibitors. Soaking almonds could significantly improve iron absorption as well.[15]

Vitamin C increases the absorption of iron. You should eat foods high in vitamin C with foods high in iron.

Almonds vs other Nuts


Almonds have a relatively low calorie content as compared to other common nuts.

Chestnuts have the fewest calories among common nuts. They have 36% fewer calories than almonds.

per 100g
per serving
pine nuts673188
Brazil nuts659185
Calorie content of common nuts.


Almonds are the nuts with the highest protein content, second only to peanuts. They have about 15% less protein than peanuts!

protein (g)
per 100g
protein (g)
per serving
Brazil nuts14.34.1
pine nuts13.73.9
Protein content of common nuts.

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