Celebrate National Nutrition Month® with Almonds
National Nutrition Month® (NNM) officially kicks off this month! And in case you didn’t hear, this year it will be honored as its own theme to emphasize the campaign’s original intent, "To increase the public's awareness of the importance of good nutrition and position Academy members as the authorities in nutrition."
In previous years, National Nutrition Month® has chosen a particular sub-theme to promote which has helped shape the message we send out to our clients, whether that’s been to highlight issues such as food waste or raise awareness about the power that flavor can have on healthy eating. However, this year NNM will be used as the main message to call attention to the overall importance of nutrition.
As health professionals, this gives us endless options and opportunities on how we can push this message out to our patients and clients. How will you celebrate and promote NNM? If you’re looking for ideas, we’ve got plenty to share. You’ll find snack recipes and educational handouts below, and many more on www.almonds.com. Check out the findings from researchers at the University of Washington on swapping in almonds to replace traditional snack foods. Keep reading for more almond-y ways to celebrate NNM!
Nutritious NNM Snacks
These quick and nutritious almond snacks are just what your clients are looking for this National Nutrition Month®. Try these and more on our website.
Sample Tweet: "Make smart snack choices for National Nutrition Month®, like these bars that combine oats, flax, and several different forms of #almonds for one tasty and nutritious snack!”
Sample Tweet: “@tastybalance aka Lindsay Pine, RDN shows that salads aren't only for meals. They also make healthy and satisfying snacks, thanks to #almonds”
A study published in Nutrition Journal that modeled the effects of replacing typical snack foods with almonds and other tree nuts shows the better nutrition benefits that can be had by making this simple swap.1
The food pattern analysis, conducted by researchers at the University of Washington and funded by the Almond Board of California, shows that swapping in almonds and other tree nuts as a snack in place of common, less healthy snack foods results in a boost of fiber, magnesium and good fats, along with a decrease in empty calories, added sugars, solid fats, saturated fat and sodium in the diet.
Researchers used data of over 17,000 children and adults from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES; 2009-2012) to assess the hypothetical impact of replacing all snack foods and separately, all but healthy snack foods, with tree nuts. Almonds are the most frequently consumed nut in this study, 44% of all tree nuts eaten were almonds, so the analysis was repeated using almonds only. All reported snacks were replaced calorie-for-calorie with almonds or other tree nuts, reflecting typical American consumption patterns. The Healthy Eating Index 2010, which measured adherence to the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, was used to assess diet quality. At the time of the study, a version of the HEI for the 2015 Dietary Guidelines was not yet available, but researchers noted that the differences between foods and nutrients to encourage are minimal.
In both models examined, the first where tree nuts or almonds hypothetically replaced all snack foods and the second where tree nuts or almonds hypothetically replaced only less-healthy snack foods, consumption of empty calories, solid fats, saturated fat, sodium, carbohydrates and added sugars all declined, while consumption of oils and good fats increased significantly. Fiber and magnesium also increased, while protein increased by a small margin. These findings were true for both almonds and for all tree nuts.
This study demonstrates the potential benefits of replacing typically consumed American snacks with almonds and other tree nuts, and echoes findings from a similar NHANES analysis on almond eaters. It’s important to note that this study is epidemiological in nature and therefore, cannot be used to determine cause and effect. Additionally, NHANES data relies on self-reported dietary intake collected during 24-hour dietary recalls, so, like other studies that use NHANES, this must be taken into consideration.
As this study shows, the simple swap of replacing typical snack foods with almonds instead has the potential to improve nutrition.
Thanks to everyone who is talking about almonds on social media! Here’s a shout out to a few of our favorite recent almond mentions.