4 Reasons to Grab a Handful of Almonds as Your Next SnackUniversity of Toronto Study Shows 4 Reasons to Grab a Handful of Almonds as Your Next Snack
New study adds to the body of research on almonds' healthy heart and
MODESTO, CA, Feb. 7 /CNW/ - A study published today in the American
Journal of Clinical Nutrition, led by two University of Toronto researchers in
conjunction with the Almond Board of California, further confirms the health
benefits associated with the regular consumption of almonds. Almonds are a
good source of dietary fiber, monounsaturated fat, high-quality protein and
are cholesterol free. The following reasons support why they should be eaten
on their own as a snack for a nutritional boost or incorporated into
breakfast, lunch and dinner foods:
1) New research supports almonds' ability to lower cholesterol
The study provides more evidence that almonds are one of the most
heart-healthy foods around. The study finds that when directly compared to
first-generation statins, a certain heart-healthy dietary approach including
almonds is just as effective in lowering LDL, or "bad," cholesterol below the
recommended range for heart disease prevention.
Specifically, the results were based on the 'Portfolio Eating Plan', an
approach which includes eating a variety of heart-healthy foods, such as
oatmeal, beans, olive oil, soy products and a daily one-ounce handful of
almonds. Researchers called almonds a "mini-Portfolio", because in and of
themselves they contain several components emphasized in the eating plan,
including vegetable protein, fiber, plant sterols and other several
According to the Heart & Stroke Foundation of Canada, close to half of
Canadian adults have cholesterol levels higher than they should be, which can
put them at risk of heart disease and stroke.
2) Almonds are nutritionally dense
Almonds are the most nutritionally dense nut, whether comparing calorie
per calorie or ounce per ounce. A one-ounce, 164-calorie serving of almonds
(about a handful), for example, is an excellent source of vitamin E and
magnesium, and a good source of fiber. It also offers heart-healthy
monounsaturated fat, protein, potassium, calcium, phosphorous and iron.
In fact, according to a study in the British Journal of Nutrition
published last fall, individuals who added almonds as a snack to their regular
diet increased their overall intake of several important nutrients. The
study's researchers, from Loma Linda University in California, concluded that
incorporating almonds into a diet may promote the natural displacement of less nutrient-dense foods, making the overall nutritional quality of the diet
3) Eating almonds may help maintain or even lose weight
A recent study in the International Journal of Obesity found that adding
a daily ration of almonds to a low-calorie diet enhanced weight loss, as well
as significantly improved risk factors associated with heart disease, when
compared to a low-fat, low-calorie diet. Researchers cited almonds'
heart-healthy monounsaturated fat as being very satiating, helping satisfy the
appetite and prevent patients from overeating.
4) Almonds are tasty, satisfying and versatile
Whether added to low-fat yogurt, included in a healthy trail mix, or
munched on their own, almonds have a toasty crunch that's perfect for any time of day, and for adding to many other foods.
For more information
The Almond Board of California has responded to the new Portfolio Eating
Plan study's positive results involving almonds by creating a patient and
health professional website with more information on the Portfolio eating
plan, including study abstracts, menus used by the research team, meal ideas
and recipes. Visit www.PortfolioEatingPlan.com. For other information on
almonds, visit www.almondsarein.com.
Summary of New Published Study
Published: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, February 7, 2005 (Am J
Clin Nutr 2005;81:000-000)
Research Organization: University of Toronto Study Title: "Direct
comparison of a dietary portfolio of cholesterol-lowering food with a statin
in hypercholesterolemic participants."
Authors: David J.A. Jenkins, Cyril W.C. Kendall, Augustine Marchie,
Dorothea A. Faulkner, Julia M.W. Wong, Russell de Souza, Azadeh Emam, Tina L.
Parker, Edward Vidgen, Elke A. Trautwein, Karen G. Lapsley, Robert G. Josse,
Lawrence A. Leiter, William Singer, and Phillip W. Connelly.
Objective: To compare, in the same subjects, the cholesterol-lowering
potential of a dietary portfolio with that of a statin.
Subjects: 34 hyperlipidemic men and women
Study Description: Subjects underwent all three one-month treatments in
random order as outpatients: a very low-saturated fat diet (control diet); the
same diet with 20 mg lovastatin (statin diet); and a diet high in plant
sterols (1.0 g/1000 kcal), soy protein foods (including soy milks and soy
burgers, 21.4 g/1000 kcal), almonds (14 g/1000 kcal), and viscous fibers from
oats, barley, psyllium, and the vegetables okra and eggplant (10 g/1000 kcal)
(portfolio diet). Fasting blood samples were obtained at weeks 0, 2 and 4.
Results: LDL-cholesterol concentrations decreased by 8.5 (+/-) 1.9%, 33.3
(+/-) 1.9%, and 29.6 (+/-) 1.3% after 4 weeks of the control, statin and
portfolio diets, respectively. Although the absolute difference between the
statin and the portfolio treatments was significant at 4 weeks (P =
0.013), 9 participants (26%) achieved their lowest LDL-cholesterol
concentrations with the portfolio diet. Moreover, the statin (n =
27) and the portfolio (n = 24) diets did not differ significantly
(P = 0.288) in their ability to reduce LDL cholesterol below the
3.4-mmol/L primary prevention cutoff.
Conclusion: Dietary combinations may not differ in potency from
first-generation statins in achieving lipid goals for primary prevention. They
may, therefore, bridge the treatment gap between current therapeutic diets and newer statins.
Jaceldo-Siegl K, Sabate J, Rajaram S, Fraser GE. "Long-Term Almond
Supplementation Without Advice on Food Replacement Induces Favorable Nutrient
Modifications to the Habitual Diets of Free-Living Individuals." British
Journal of Nutrition, 92, (3), pp. 533-540. Research Organization: Loma Linda
University, Loma Linda, Calif.
Wien M, Sabate JM, Ikle DN, Cole SE, Kandeel FR. "Almonds vs. Complex
Carbohydrates in a Weight Reduction Program." International Journal of
Obesity, 2003, vol. 27, pp. 1365-1372. Research Organization: City of Hope
National Medical Center, Duarte, Calif.
The Almond Board of California welcomes the participation of all industry
members and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national
origin, sexual orientation, gender, marital status, religion, age, disability
or political beliefs.
For further information: or to arrange an interview with Drs Jenkins
or Kendall, from the University of Toronto, contact: Molly Spence (Chicago),
(312) 856-8843, firstname.lastname@example.org; Saskia Brussaard (Toronto),
(416) 423-6605, email@example.com
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