Almonds are a very nutritious food that is high in fat but low in trans-fats and cholesterol free. They have plenty of nutrients like calcium, phosphorus, vitamin E, fiber and antioxidants that can help your overall health. It has been found that you can lower your cholesterol by eating a handful of almonds each day. Because they are so beneficial and they taste so good, it can be easy to eat too many almonds. It may seem surprising, but eating too many almonds can actually be dangerous, so it is important not to overdo it.
Side Effects of Eating Too Many Almonds
- Weight gain- While they can lower your cholesterol, almonds are high in fat and calories with as many as 14g of fat and 163 calories per ounce. Eating too many of these nuts can make you gain weight if you cannot keep your energy up to burn off what you have been eating. You will need to account for the calories in almonds when setting up your meal plan so you can avoid consuming too much. Make sure you do not allow almonds to account for 20-35 percent of your daily calories if you follow a standard 2000 calorie diet to avoid gaining weight.
- Medication interactions- Almond contain as much as 0.6 mg per ounce of manganese. People are supposed to consume 1.8-2.3 mg of manganese each day, but if you are eating a great deal of almonds on top of a diet rich in this mineral it can interact with medications you are taking. Antipsychotic drugs, laxatives, antacids, some antibiotics and blood pressure medications can interact poorly with high doses of manganese.
- Vitamin E overdose- Almonds have a very high amount of vitamin E, containing as much as 7.4 mg per ounce. This is nearly half of your daily requirement. However, you should not consume more than 1000 mg of vitamin E each day. If you are eating a diet that has a lot of sources of vitamin E like whole grains, fortified cereals, eggs or spinach you can wind up overdosing on this vitamin. Watch for headaches, lethargy, diarrhea or flatulence that may signal that you are suffering from this condition.
- Gastrointestinal problems- Every ounce of almonds contains around 3.5 of fiber. This can be a dietary benefit because you need 25-38 g of fiber in your diet each day to keep your digestive system working properly. If you get too much fiber in your diet it can lead to abdominal bloating or constipation. Make sure you drink plenty of water if you eat a lot of almonds to help your body process all this fiber.
How Many Almonds should I Eat Daily?
- For average people- A standard serving of almonds is one ounce according to the Food and Drug Administration. Weighing your almonds instead of counting them can help you make sure you are getting an accurate serving size when you eat them. Almonds can vary in size, making it difficult to get an accurate measurement if you are trying to watch your intake.
- For dieters- If you are watching your total fat and calorie intake you can use almonds to lose weight and prevent heart disease. However, you need to remember that almonds are high in fat so you may need to limit your intake if you are trying to lose weight. Eating 1.5 ounces of almonds throughout the day can help you lose weight because the almonds are high in fiber that takes your body a long time to digest. This will help keep you full so you are not tempted to eat more.
- For patients- Those that have gall bladder issues or a kidney stone may need to avoid almonds due to their high oxalate content. Some are allergic to almond protein and can have an allergic reaction if they eat these nuts. While this allergic reaction is rare, it is important to note. You should also not eat bitter almonds raw because they contain prussic acid and hydrocyanic acid that are toxic.