A new study now suggests that snacking on almonds may compensate for skipping breakfast.
According to the study, students who miss out on the morning meal have better blood sugar levels if they choose to snack on the nuts mid-morning.
In a report published in MailOnline, lead author of the study Dr Rudy Ortiz, from the University of California, Merced said that the study, first among a university student population shows that for those who skip breakfast almonds are a good alternative.
Previous research suggests almonds contain healthy fats, protein, vitamin E and magnesium.
Almonds, furthermore, have been associated with lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, as well as reduced hunger and weight gain.
The research found that among university students 20 and 43 per cent of them do not eat breakfast and some 63 per cent of the participants reported never eating breakfast, rarely or just two-to-four times a week.
The students were split into two groups. Thirty of them snacked on 56g of dry roasted almonds, equalling 320 calories, every day for eight weeks.
The remaining 35 munched on five Graham crackers every day, totaling 338 calories. The snacks were usually eaten at 11am.
All of the participants were told to keep the rest of their diet and exercise regimen the same during the Almond Board of California funded study.
Results, published in the journal Nutrients, suggest students who munch on almonds have lower blood sugar levels two hours later, as well as 34 per cent less insulin resistance, than those who eat crackers.
Although both the students eating almonds and crackers gained on average 1.7lbs (0.8kg) during the study, previous research suggests weight gain of between 2.2lbs and 6.6lbs (1-to-3kg) is common when people start university.
Results further suggest students find almonds more appealing than crackers when eaten every day, which the researchers claim shows that ‘repeated consumption of a nutritious snack is well accepted over a typical refined carbohydrate snack’.
The researchers believe almonds may have greater benefits among people with high blood pressures or large waist circumferences than in the healthy students included in the study.