If you’re a regular reader of the Guide to Good Health you know I’m a firm believer in the power of nuts (being a health nut myself!). These delicious nutrition-packed wonders can do everything from boosting your energy levels to helping head off heart problems and fight cancer.

In fact, according to one study, just 30 grams of nuts a day (a modest handful) could significantly reduce your stroke risk. A half a cup of mixed nuts a day drove down the blood sugar and cholesterol levels in a group of type-2 diabetics. And the vitamin E found in many nuts may help slash your risk of deadly pancreatic cancer.

Now, a stack of new research on the health benefits of almonds—presented at the American Society of Nutrition Scientific Sessions and Annual Meeting in San Diego late last month—points to almonds as a way to help ward off obesity, metabolic issues, and heart problems.

Better blood sugar with almonds

A study of over 24,800 adults found that people who eat almonds tend to make better diet choices and have better overall health than non-almond eaters. And in a crossover, randomized clinical trial on the health benefits of almonds, overweight pregnant women who snacked on 2 ounces of almonds felt fuller… and as a result had a reduced appetite.

In another analysis on the health benefits of almonds performed at Purdue University, researchers showed that people who eat 1.5 ounces of dry-roasted, lightly-salted almonds daily have better appetite control and healthier blood sugar levels, as well as higher vitamin E and monounsaturated healthy fat intake, than those who skip the healthy snack.

But it gets even better with some real world results. The daily almond eaters, who were all at risk for type 2 diabetes, were also able to maintain healthy weight levels despite the fact that they had increased their calorie intake by 250 extra calories a day!

And in yet another study, 52 adults with high cholesterol were able to reduce belly fat and slash their risk of heart and metabolic problems just by eating a modest serving (1.5 ounces) of almonds every day.