Nutritional Appeal

Hello, Nutrition

Why do consumers choose almonds? More than 75 percent of consumers surveyed think that almonds are “great tasting and nutritious,” so including them as an ingredient means packing an extra punch of delicious crunch plus a variety of vital nutrients.1 In fact, year after year, consumers continue to give almonds high health attribute ratings.1  The top almond attributes selected by surveyed consumers include "healthy" (81 percent), “nutritious” (80 percent), "good for your heart" (74 percent) and “a source of energy” (73 percent).2
When compared ounce for ounce, almonds are the tree nut highest in six essential nutrients: protein (6g), fiber (4g), calcium (75mg), vitamin E (7.4mg), riboflavin (0.3mg), and niacin (1mg).*
Almonds are an excellent source of alpha-tocopherol vitamin E (35 percent DV), a powerful antioxidant that may help neutralize damaging free radicals in the body.*
Just one ounce of almonds is an excellent source of magnesium and a source of potassium (6 percent DV), phosphorus (15 percent DV), and iron (6 percent DV).*
Almonds are a heart-smart ingredient from every angle. Every ounce has 13 grams of “good” unsaturated fat, only 1 gram of saturated fat and zero cholesterol.*
Nearly two decades of research shows that almonds can help maintain a healthy heart and cholesterol levels.3
o A study published in the British Journal of Nutrition found that participants who ate almonds as part of a heart-healthy diet significantly improved their serum fatty acid profiles and reduced their estimated 10-year heart disease risk score.3
  • The Study: The study was a randomized, controlled clinical trial that evaluated the effects of almond consumption on serum fatty acid composition and estimated 10-year risk of coronary heart disease (CHD). Study participants were 27 adult men and women (mean age: 64 years) with elevated LDL cholesterol (mean 167 mg/dL) but were otherwise healthy. For four weeks, subjects consumed a National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP) Step 2 diet along with 50 – 100 g/day (approximately 2-4 oz.) of almonds (full-almond dose); 100 to 200 g/day of muffins (control); or 25 to 50 g (~1-2 oz.) of almonds plus 50-100 g/day of muffins (half-almond dose). 
    The muffins were formulated to have a similar nutritional composition as the almonds with the exception of carbohydrates and fat, as the muffins’ carbohydrate content was increased to balance the calories from monounsaturated fatty acids in the almonds. Almond and muffin intake amounts were based on estimated energy requirements of each subject, and provided an average of 423 calories per day. The study was crossover in design, with each subject completing all three four-week dietary treatments in random order, with a washout period of at least two weeks in between. The primary objective of the study was to assess the effects of almonds on blood lipids, which have been previously published; these results are secondary analyses.    
    Limitations: 10-year risks of CHD were estimated indirectly based on the Framingham equation. Each dietary intervention period was relatively short at four weeks, and there was a relatively high drop-out rate. 37.2% of the subjects who were randomized did not complete the entire study, and therefore were not included in the final analysis. In addition, almond consumption was associated with an increase in fecal excretion of MUFAs (unpublished data reported by the authors); thus, the effects may be confounded by differences between the dietary intervention periods in the actual amounts of nutrients and energy that were absorbed. 
o A study in the New England Journal of Medicine shows that eating nuts like almonds every day is associated with longer life and better health, and adds to the strong body of evidence demonstrating that people who regularly eat nuts have healthier lifestyles.4
  • The Study:  An epidemiologic study examined the effect of nut consumption on total and cause-specific mortality. To evaluate the effect, 76,464 female registered nurses in the Nurses’ Health Study and 42,498 male health professionals in the Health Professionals Follow-up Study were tracked for 30 and 24 years, respectively. Nut consumption was assessed at baseline and updated every two to four years with validated food frequency questionnaires that asked whether participants had consumed a serving of nuts (one ounce) the preceding year. The primary endpoint of the study was death from any cause.
    Limitations: This study was an observational, epidemiologic study, and therefore shows correlation, not causation. The study population was limited to nurses and other health professionals, and findings were based on self-reported data from questionnaires. Additionally, participants with a history of cancer, heart disease, or stroke at baseline were excluded, and dietary data from participants who reported a diagnosis of stroke, heart disease, angina, or cancer were not included in the analysis. Finally, because researchers lacked data on how nuts were prepared (for example, salted, spiced, roasted or raw), they were unable to examine the influence of preparation method on mortality.
o A new study published in the European Journal of Nutrition found that a mid-morning snack of almonds helped control appetite and resulted in reduced calorie intake by the participants during the rest of the day. The study suggests that almonds may be a smart snack option given they acutely enhanced satiety, the feeling of fullness, without increasing total daily calorie consumption.5 
  • The Study: The effects of two different portions of almonds as a mid-morning snack on satiety and energy intake were compared to having no snack as a control in a randomized crossover design, meaning that each participant completed all 3 interventions – no almonds, 1 ounce of almonds, and 1.5 ounces of almonds. Study participants were 32 healthy, normal weight (average BMI 22.7) adult women with an average age of 48.4 years.
    On each test day, participants consumed all meals under supervision at the study site. They were not permitted to eat or drink between meals other than the assigned snack intervention. Participants completed baseline appetite ratings, and then were given their usual breakfast at 8:30 am. The same breakfast was given to each volunteer on all three test days, ensuring that all participants felt their typical level of fullness after breakfast. They were then given a mid-morning snack at 11 am of no almonds, 1 oz. or 1.5 oz. of almonds to consume within 15 minutes. Limitations: The study was conducted in normal weight people, and findings may not be applicable in overweight and obese people, and only assessed the short-term (1 day) effects of eating almonds on satiety and energy intake. Habitual almond intake was not controlled for, and a control snack food of equal energy and volume to the almond snacks was not tested.
 
More recent research updates can be found here:
 
1. Global Perceptions Report, Sterling-Rice Group, 2013.
2. North America Consumer AAU, Sterling-Rice Group, 2015.
3. Nishi S, Kendall CW, Gascoyne AM, et al. Effect of almond consumption on the serum fatty acid profile: a dose response study. British Journal of Nutrition 2014.
4. Bao Y, Han J, Hu FB, Giovannucci EL, Stampfer MJ, Willett WC, Fuchs CS. Association of nut consumption with total and cause-specific mortality. N Engl J Med 2013;369:2001-11.
5. Hull S, Re R, Chambers L, Echaniz A, Wickham SJ. A mid-morning snack generates satiety and appropriate adjustment of subsequent food intake in healthy women. European Journal of Nutrition 2014; DOI 10.1007/s00394-014-0759-z.
* Good news about almonds and heart health. Scientific evidence suggests, but does not prove, that eating 1.5 ounces of most nuts, such as almonds, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol may reduce the risk of heart disease. One serving on almonds (28g) has 13g of unsaturated fat and only 1g of saturated fat.
 
    Vitamin E + Magnesium

    Antioxidant Inspiration

    Do you know which type of vitamin E the human body absorbs best? It’s called alpha-tocopherol (AT) vitamin E, and California Almonds are one of the leading food sources of this important antioxidant. It’s a good thing too because most Americans get only half of their recommended vitamin E each day, providing yet another reason to include almonds in your product or on the menu.

    • Alpha-tocopherol vitamin E may help neutralize nasty free radicals that can damage cells, tissues, and even DNA.
    • Researchers have linked free radicals to the development of some chronic diseases such as cancer and heart disease. An ounce of almonds unleashes 35% of the Daily Value for vitamin E to help fight the good fight.1
    • A one-ounce serving of almonds contains a similar amount of total polyphenols as one cup of green tea and ½ cup of steamed broccoli.2

     

     

     

    1. In addition to being an excellent source of vitamin E, one ounce of almonds also offers: fiber (4g); calcium (75mg); protein (6g); iron (1.0mg); potassium (200mg); saturated fat (1g); unsaturated fat (13g).

    2. Milbury, P.E.; Chen, C.; Dolnikowski, G.; Blumberg, J. Determination of flavonoids and phenolics and their distribution in almonds. J. Agric. Food Chem, 2006, 54,5027-5023.

    Heart Health*

    Almonds Have Heart

    Almonds heart-smart benefits are good news for just about everyone; especially since cardiovascular disease holds the spot as the leading cause of death among men and women in the U.S.

    • California almonds are cholesterol-free, have only 1 gram of saturated fat, and have 13 grams of unsaturated fat per one-ounce serving.
    • Consumers have a little more help in the grocery aisles because the American Heart Association® has certified whole almonds to display the sought-after Heart-Check mark. Now it’s easy for everyone out there to identify almonds as a heart-smart option.i
    • But there’s more, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, “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.” U.S. Dietary Guidelines recommend that the majority of your fat intake be unsaturated. One serving of almonds (28 grams, or about 23 almonds) has 13 grams of unsaturated fat and only 1 gram of saturated fat.
    • A study published in the British Journal of Nutrition found that participants who ate almonds as part of a heart-healthyi diet significantly improved certain factors associated with heart disease risk.1 Those who increased their daily almond intake by 30 grams (approximately 1 ounce) during the study are estimated to reduce their coronary heart disease risk score by 3.5 percent in the next 10 years.1
      • The Study: The study was a randomized, controlled clinical trial that evaluated the effects of almond consumption on serum fatty acid composition and estimated 10-year risk of coronary heart disease (CHD). Study participants were 27 adult men and women (mean age: 64 years) with elevated LDL cholesterol (mean 167 mg/dL) but were otherwise healthy. For four weeks, subjects consumed a National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP) Step 2 diet along with 50 – 100 g/day (approximately 2-4 oz.) of almonds (full-almond dose); 100 to 200 g/day of muffins (control); or 25 to 50 g (~1-2 oz.) of almonds plus 50-100 g/day of muffins (half-almond dose). The muffins were formulated to have a similar nutritional composition as the almonds with the exception of carbohydrates and fat, as the muffins’ carbohydrate content was increased to balance the calories from monounsaturated fatty acids in the almonds. Almond and muffin intake amounts were based on estimated energy requirements of each subject, and provided an average of 423 calories per day. The study was crossover in design, with each subject completing all three four-week dietary treatments in random order, with a washout period of at least two weeks in between. The primary objective of the study was to assess the effects of almonds on blood lipids, which have been previously published; these results are secondary analyses. Limitations: 10-year risks of CHD were estimated indirectly based on the Framingham equation. Each dietary intervention period was relatively short at four weeks, and there was a relatively high drop-out rate. 37.2% of the subjects who were randomized did not complete the entire study, and therefore were not included in the final analysis. In addition, almond consumption was associated with an increase in fecal excretion of MUFAs (unpublished data reported by the authors); thus, the effects may be confounded by differences between the dietary intervention periods in the actual amounts of nutrients and energy that were absorbed. 
    • A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine showed individuals who consumed one ounce of nuts seven or more times per week had a 20 percent lower death rate.i2
      • The Study:  An epidemiologic study examined the effect of nut consumption on total and cause-specific mortality. To evaluate the effect, 76,464 female registered nurses in the Nurses’ Health Study and 42,498 male health professionals in the Health Professionals Follow-up Study were tracked for 30 and 24 years, respectively. Nut consumption was assessed at baseline and updated every two to four years with validated food frequency questionnaires that asked whether participants had consumed a serving of nuts (one ounce) the preceding year. The primary endpoint of the study was death from any cause. Limitations: This study was an observational, epidemiologic study, and therefore shows correlation, not causation. The study population was limited to nurses and other health professionals, and findings were based on self-reported data from questionnaires. Additionally, participants with a history of cancer, heart disease, or stroke at baseline were excluded, and dietary data from participants who reported a diagnosis of stroke, heart disease, angina, or cancer were not included in the analysis. Finally, because researchers lacked data on how nuts were prepared (for example, salted, spiced, roasted or raw), they were unable to examine the influence of preparation method on mortality.
    More recent research updates can be found here:
     

    i All certified nuts, including salted varieties, must meet the American Heart Association’s® nutritional requirements which include a limit of 140mg or less of sodium per label serving size. Please note that the Heart-Check Food Certification does not apply to hyperlinks, recipes, or research unless expressly stated. For more information, see the American Heart Association’s® nutrition guidelines at heartcheck.org. American Heart Association® and the Heart-Check Mark are registered trademarks of the American Heart Association®.

    1. Nishi S, Kendall CW, Gascoyne AM, et al. Effect of almond consumption on the serum fatty acid profile: a dose response study. British Journal of Nutrition 2014.

    2. Bao Y, Han J, Hu FB, Giovannucci EL, Stampfer MJ, Willett WC, Fuchs CS. Association of nut consumption with total and cause-specific mortality. N Engl J Med 2013;369:2001-11.
    Weight Management

    The Skinny on Fat

    To keep hearts and bodies in the best shape possible, it’s important to maintain a healthy weight.1 That’s why integrating almonds into products or recipes is not only a smart choice, but also a satisfying one. Almonds offer key lifestyle benefits, including fewer calories for more nutrients, tempting crunch, and undeniable tasty flavor.
     
    An ounce of almonds provides 4 grams of filling fiber, “good” monounsaturated fat and 6 grams of energy-rich protein.2*
    A recent study shows that whole almonds may provide the body with just 129 calories per ounce—that’s 20 percent fewer than the 160 calories Nutrition Facts labels currently state. The study takes into account the digestibility of whole almonds, and further research is needed to better understand the results of the study and how this technique for calculating calories could potentially affect the calorie count of other foods.3
    Consumers can feel extra confident about their choice to consume almonds as a snack. A study by Dr. Richard Mattes, published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, found that consuming 43 grams (1.5 oz) of almonds a day as a snack or including them in a meal did not increase calorie intake over the course of the day or lead to weight gain over four weeks in the participants studied.2 The study also suggests that almonds are a smart snack choice, helping curb hunger and desire to eat with their satiating qualities.2
    • The Study: A study was conducted to determine the effect of almonds eaten at a meal or as a snack on blood sugar, appetite and body weight. To evaluate the measured effect, 137 otherwise healthy adults at increased risk of type 2 diabetes were assigned randomly to one of five groups for four weeks: a control group that did not consume nuts or seeds during the study period, and two meal groups and two snack groups that consumed 43 grams, or 1.5 oz. of whole almonds daily at assigned breakfast or lunch meal times, or morning or afternoon snack times, respectively. Oral glucose tolerance tests (OGTT) were performed at baseline, along with height, weight, body fat, waist circumference and blood pressure measurements.  A 24-hour dietary recall was completed with a registered dietitian and “hunger’, “fullness” and “desire to eat” sensations were captured using visual analog scales. Acute feeding sessions involving an overnight fast and consecutive blood samplings after ingestion of meals or snacks were performed one week after the OGTT and at the end of the four weeks. Participants underwent weekly follow-up visits where weight was recorded, 24-hour dietary intake and appetite sensation ratings were assessed.
      Limitations: The study was short in duration and did not measure the long-term impact of consuming almonds as a snack. The measures of hunger, desire to eat and fullness are subjective measures with uncertain effects on actual calorie or nutrient intake.
    Additionally, in a study published in the European Journal of Nutrition, a mid-morning snack of almonds helped control participants’ appetite, which resulted in a reduced calorie intake for the remainder of the day.1
    • The Study: The effects of two different portions of almonds as a mid-morning snack on satiety and energy intake were compared to having no snack as a control in a randomized crossover design, meaning that each participant completed all 3 interventions – no almonds, 1 ounce of almonds, and 1.5 ounces of almonds. Study participants were 32 healthy, normal weight (average BMI 22.7) adult women with an average age of 48.4 years.
      On each test day, participants consumed all meals under supervision at the study site. They were not permitted to eat or drink between meals other than the assigned snack intervention. Participants completed baseline appetite ratings, and then were given their usual breakfast at 8:30 am. The same breakfast was given to each volunteer on all three test days, ensuring that all participants felt their typical level of fullness after breakfast. They were then given a mid-morning snack at 11 am of no almonds, 1 oz. or 1.5 oz. of almonds to consume within 15 minutes. 
      At 12:30 pm, participants were then provided lunch of ham and cheese sandwiches and strawberry yogurt and permitted to eat as much as they wanted until they were comfortably full. Appetite ratings were then assessed every 30 minutes until dinner was served at 5:30pm. Once again, participants were instructed to eat as much as they wanted, until comfortably full, of pasta with tomato and cheese sauces and lemon cake. 3.5 oz. of water was provided with each meal and participants were instructed to drink all the water. Subjective ratings of appetite and fullness were measured at regular intervals using VAS (visual analogue scale) ratings, and energy intake was assessed by weighing the meals before and after consumption. 
      Limitations: The study was conducted in normal weight people, and findings may not be applicable in overweight and obese people, and only assessed the short-term (1 day) effects of eating almonds on satiety and energy intake. Habitual almond intake was not controlled for, and a control snack food of equal energy and volume to the almond snacks was not tested.
    Almonds are considered a good fit with many popular weight-loss programs such as Weight Watchers™, the Mediterranean Diet and the South Beach Diet™.
     
    So, think of almonds when developing products to meet consumers’ demand for wholesome snacks with appealing taste and texture. They are a simple way to please even the pickiest palates while staying satisfied throughout the day.
     
    More recent research updates can be found here:
     
    1. Hull S, Re R, Chambers L, Echaniz A, Wickham SJ. A mid-morning snack generates satiety and appropriate adjustment of subsequent food intake in healthy women. European Journal of Nutrition 2014; DOI 10.1007/s00394-014-0759-z.
    2. Tan YT, Mattes RD. Appetitive, dietary and health effects of almonds consumed with meals or as snacks: a randomized, controlled trial. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2013.
    3. Novotny JA, Gebauer SK, Baer DJ. 2012. Discrepancy between the Atwater factor predicted and empirically measured energy values of almonds in human diets. Amer J. Clin. Nutr. doi:10.3945/ ajcn.112.035782. 
    *Good news about good fat: 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.