NATIONAL NUTRITION MONTH®
It’s one of our favorite times of the year—National Nutrition Month® ! This year’s theme, "Go Further with Food," focuses broadly on healthy eating, including planning meals and snacks in advance to help manage portion sizes while reducing food waste. In fact, two of the key messages from the "Go Further with Food" campaign pertain to food waste, a growing concern around the world and one that has garnered significant media attention. In the U.S., we throw away 40% of our food supply each year.1 An average American family of four wastes about 25% of the food they buy, costing them between $1,365 to $2,275 per year.1 Of the estimated 133 billion pounds of food that goes into the garbage each year, much of it is perfectly edible and nutritious.2
Counseling clients about planning and use of the foods they buy, how to properly store different foods, as well as how to stretch foods when meal planning can help ensure their food goes further—and we have just the food to help!
Almonds have a long shelf life, which can help prevent food waste. Here are some storage tips to ensure almonds stay fresh:
- Store almonds in a cool, dry area.
- Avoid prolonged exposure to direct sunlight, which tends to darken shelled almonds and decrease their stability.
- Almonds can be stored frozen, which extends the shelf life significantly; however, proper packaging must be used to protect them from ice formation and moisture.
- Whole natural almonds can be stored for about two years with no significant loss in quality. Roasted almonds should be protected from oxygen and stored in containers or resealable airtight plastic bags.
Almonds are a versatile ingredient that can be used in an infinite number of ways when cooking and baking, adding flavor, crunch and nutrition to recipes. Tossed into salads, sprinkled on oatmeal or yogurt, used as a coating for chicken or fish, or enjoyed on their own as a snack, there are endless ways to use almonds.
Here are two of our favorite weekend meal prep recipes for smart eating all week long. For more delicious almond recipe ideas, you’ll love our online recipe center.
Double up on protein while enjoying these tasty #almond and puffed #quinoa squares made by our RDN friend @80twentyrule! http://bit.ly/2EK22OC
Looking for creamy, but need to avoid dairy? You can thank @churchill_dan for this delicious Creamy Pesto Pasta with #almondmilk! http://bit.ly/2EnlUcL
Research from the EPIC-PANACEA study shows that a higher intake of nuts is associated with reduced weight gain and a lower risk of becoming overweight or obese.3 Over 373,000 men and women ranging in age from 25 to 70, from 10 European countries, participated in this five-year prospective investigation on weight and obesity risk.
Habitual intake of nuts was estimated from country-specific validated dietary questionnaires. Nut intake was assessed in broad categories rather than specific nut types.
Body weight was measured at recruitment and self-reported five years later. On average, study participants gained 2.1 kg (4.6 pounds) over five years, with considerable variation in the amount gained among participants.
Compared to participants who did not consume nuts, those with the highest intake of nuts experienced the least amount of weight gain (-0.07 kg) and had 5% lower risk of becoming overweight or obese after five years of follow-up. After adjustment for potential confounders, each 15 gram per day increase in nut intake was associated with ~2.5% reduction in body weight increase. Furthermore, when frequency of nut intake was analyzed (without accounting for the amount of nuts eaten), strengths of associations increased. Participants consuming nuts more than once per week gained 0.1 kg less over a five-year period compared to nonconsumers.
Participants in the higher categories of nut intake were on average younger; had lower BMIs; had higher levels of education; were nonsmokers; were more physically active; and had higher intakes of vegetables, fruit and cereal; and had less intake of meat products, which researchers suggest may be one of the potential pathways of weight-stabilizing effects of nuts.
You might enjoy sharing this video explaining the study and its results with your clients or to share on social!
We have what you're looking for with these practical guides.
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.
1. Gunders D. Wasted: How America is losing up to 40% of its food, from farm to fork to landfill. National Resources Defense Council. 2012. http://www.nrdc.org/food/files/wasted-food-ip.pdf.
2. USDA, Office of the Chief Economist. US Food Waste Challenge. FAQs. 2013. http://www.usda.gov/oce/foodwaste/faqs.htm.