To keep your patients' bodies, and especially their hearts, in the best shape possible, it's important that they maintain a healthy weight. That's why integrating a daily hadful of almonds into their diet plans is not only a smart choice, but also a truly satisfying one. Almonds don't just stave off hunger, they also provide 3.5 grams of fiber, healthy monounsaturated fats, 6 grams of protein, and help provide that “full” feeling everyone wants after a meal or snack.1
A handful of almonds offers key benefits to anyone trying to shed a few pounds, namely satiety, fewer calories for more nutrients, crunch, and an undeniable, tasty flavor. In fact, a one-ounce serving (about 23 almonds) is an excellent source of three nutrients and 100% cholesterol free, all for a measly 160 calories. Not to mention the 6 grams of energy-packed protein.
The Proof: In a randomized, crossover study published in the British Journal of Nutrition, researchers reported on the multitasking properties of the fiber in almonds.2
- 20 healthy, overweight females
- Added 300 calories of almonds per day for 10 weeks to an ad-lib diet
- Participants did not show an increase in body weight-they naturally compensated for most of the calories found in almonds.
- Additionally, the study found the fiber in almonds blocked some of the fat calories from being absorbed.
Another study evaluated the dose response of almonds on coronary heart disease risk factors. The dose-response effects of whole almonds, taken as snacks, were compared with low-saturated fat (<5% energy) whole-wheat muffins (control) in the therapeutic diets of hyperlipidemic subjects.3
- 27 hyperlipidemic men and women
- Randomized crossover study
- Consumed 3 isoenergetic (mean 423kcal/d) supplements (muffins and almonds) each for 1 month
- Supplements provided 22% of energy and consisted of:
- full-dose almonds (73+/-3 g/d)
- half-dose almonds plus half-dose muffins
- full-dose muffins (control)
- Mean body weights differed <300g between treatments
- The full-dose almonds produced the greatest reduction in levels of blood lipids
- Half-dose almonds reduced:
- LDL cholesterol by 4.4% +/-1.7%, P=0.018
- LDL:HDL cholesterol 7.8% +/-2.2%, P=0.001
- Full-dose almonds reduced:
- LDL cholesterol 9.4% +/-1.9%, P<0.001
- LDL:HDL cholesterol 12.0% +/-2.1%, P<0.001
- Lipoprotein(a) 7.8% +/-3.5%, P=0.034
- Oxidized LDL concentrations 14.0% +/-3.8%, P<0.001
- No significant reductions on the control diet
- Almonds used as snacks by hyperlipidemic subjects in this study significantly reduced coronary heart disease risk factors, in part because of the protein, fiber, and monounsaturated fatty acid components of the nut.4
Now that you've got the facts, it's the perfect time to start bringing more almonds into your patients' lives. Tell them to snack on a handful in the car, or top off a delicious meal at home. California Almonds are the simple way to keep energy up, vicious cravings down, and maybe even help a few pounds disappear.
Click here for almond recipes your patients will want to make again and again.
1. U.S. Dietary guidelines recommend that the majority of your fat intake be unsaturated. One serving of almonds (28g) has 13g of unsaturated fat and only 1g of saturated fat.
2. Hollis J, Mattes R. Effect of Chronic Consumption of Almonds on Bodyweight in Healthy Humans. Br j Nutr. 2007 Sep;98(3):651-6
3. Jenkins DJ, et al. “Dose Response of Almonds on Coronary Heart Disease Risk Factors: Blood Lipids, Oxidized Low-Density Lipoproteins, Lipoprotein(a), Homocysteine, and Pulmonary Nitric Oxide A Randomized, Controlled, Crossover Trial.” Circulation. 2002 Sep 10; 106(11):1327-32.
4. The FDA issued a qualified health claim in 2003 that states: “Scientific evidence suggests, but does not prove, that eating 1.5 ounces per day of most nuts, such as almonds, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol may reduce the risk of heart disease.”