Cranberries and almonds have been touted as a weight loss food combination in cereals, energy bars and countless other diet products. However, no scientific evidence exists to support the effectiveness of this specific combination in losing weight. Cranberries are high in fiber and polyphenols; almonds are loaded with protein and fiber. Those elements contribute to weight reduction. In addition, in separate studies, both cranberries and almonds appear to be beneficial in weight loss efforts.
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According to the Cranberry Institute, a serving of fresh cranberries contain 0.2 mg of vitamin C and 6 grams of fiber; a serving of cranberry sauce contains 9 mg of vitamin C and 0.3 grams of dietary fiber. A serving of cranberry juice contains 113 mg of vitamin C and 0.4 grams of fiber; it has double the USDA recommended daily allowance of vitamin C. In addition, the Cranberry Institute states that cranberries contain more polyphenols than oranges, blueberries, strawberries and apples. A study at Texas Women’s University revealed that fruits high in polyphenols may inhibit obesity.
Cranberries and Vitamin C
The high vitamin C content in cranberries has been shown to positively impact weight loss efforts. In a study published in “Nutrition and Metabolism,” researchers instructed one group to consume 500 milligrams of vitamin C daily, while the other group was instructed to consume less than 30 milligrams. Afterward, both groups worked out on treadmills for the same duration of time; the group consuming vitamin C was more effective at losing weight, burning 30 percent more fat during exercise.
Almonds are full of protein, fiber and vitamin E. Both protein and fiber work to fill you up and reduce hunger. The magnesium content in almonds helps the body to produce energy and regulate blood sugar. According to Dr. David Katz at the Yale University School of Medicine, “A stable blood-sugar level helps prevent cravings that can lead to overeating and weight gain.” In addition, "Fitness Magazine" lists almonds as one of its top 10 foods for flat abs.
In a study published in the "International Journal of Obesity," researchers fed two groups of study subjects a 1,000-calorie liquid diet on a daily basis. However one group was also given 3 oz. of almonds, making their diets 39 percent fat. Instead of almonds, the other group was given complex carbohydrates, such as air popped popcorn and wheat crackers, making their diets 18 percent fat. At the end of the 5-month study, the group consuming almonds experienced an average 18 percent reduction in weight and body mass. They also had a 14 percent reduction in waist circumference, whereas the complex carbohydrate group saw an 11 percent reduction in weight and body mass and a 9 percent reduction in waist circumference.