Early satiety has been identified as one of the mechanisms that may explain the beneficial effects of nuts for reducing obesity. This study compared postprandial changes in appetite-regulating hormones and self-reported appetite ratings after consuming almonds (AL, 15% of energy requirement) or an isocaloric carbohydrate-rich snack bar (SB).
This is a sub-analysis of baseline assessments of a larger parallel-arm randomised controlled trial in overweight and obese (Body Mass Index 27.5–34.9 kg/m2) adults (25–65 years). After an overnight fast, 140 participants consumed a randomly allocated snack (AL [n = 68] or SB [n = 72]). Appetite-regulating hormones and self-reported appetite sensations, measured using visual analogue scales, were assessed immediately before snack food consumption, and at 30, 60, 90 and 120 min following snack consumption. A sub-set of participants (AL, n = 49; SB, n = 48) then consumed a meal challenge buffet ad libitum to assess subsequent energy intake. An additional appetite rating assessment was administered post buffet at 150 min.
Postprandial C-peptide area under the curve (AUC) response was 47% smaller with AL compared to SB (p < 0.001). Glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide, glucagon and pancreatic polypeptide AUC responses were larger with AL compared to SB (18%, p = 0.005; 39% p < 0.001; 45% p < 0.001 respectively). Cholecystokinin, ghrelin, glucagon-like peptide-1, leptin and polypeptide YY AUCs were not different between groups. Self-reported appetite ratings and energy intake following the buffet did not differ between groups.
More favourable appetite-regulating hormone responses to AL did not translate into better self-reported appetite or reduced short-term energy consumption. Future studies should investigate implications for longer term appetite regulation.