A recent study examined 32 individuals who consumed a low-calorie diet with 84 grams per day of almonds, resulting in a diet that was 39% fat and 32% carbohydrate, compared with 33 people who consumed a low-calorie diet consisting of 18% fat and 53% complex carbohydrate. The two diets were equivalent calories and protein.
The diet supplemented with almonds was associated with greater reductions in weight/body mass index, waist circumference, fat mass, total body water and systolic blood pressure. There was a 62% greater reduction in weight/body mass index, 50% greater reduction in waist circumference, and a 56% greater reduction in fat mass seen in the almond low-calorie diet compared with the complex carbohydrate low-calorie diet.
What's interesting in this small study is that the amount of protein was the same; only the relative proportion of complex carbohydrate was reduced and replaced with fat. In moderation, raw nuts and seeds are excellent sources of nutrition and provide helpful essential fatty acids (EFAs) -- and they may help you to control your weight, provided your total calorie intake is low.
This is not to say that complex carbohydrates are bad. However, you can be selective about which carbohydrates you eat. For more information on complex carbohydrates, visit our web page about the Glycemic Index.
Source: Wein, MA et al, Almonds vs. complex carbohydrates in a weight reduction program,” Int J Obes, 2003, 27:1365-1372.