Almond Nutrition Studies Presented at Elite Meeting

August 1, 2014

A study of almonds as an optimal snack was presented at an American Society for Nutrition sponsored session at Experimental Biology 2014.

Six new almond-related research studies were presented in late April in San Diego at the American Society of Nutrition’s (ASN’s) Scientific Sessions and Annual Meeting, held in conjunction with Experimental Biology 2014 (EB). Experimental Biology annually convenes scientists and researchers in the fields of anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, pathology, nutrition and pharmacology to discuss the strides and contributions made to the field of science. The conference attracts an international audience of approximately 13,000 leading scientists specializing in various health disciplines.

The almond-related science presented revealed new insights into the effects of almond consumption on overall diet quality and health status, abdominal adiposity, measures of appetite and satiety, and cardiovascular risk factors.

“Presenting new research to this audience of scientists and health professionals is critical to turning the findings into practical application and recommendations,” said Dr. Karen Lapsley, chief science officer for the Almond Board of California. “These results help to advance the evolution of our understanding of almonds’ beneficial effects as part of a healthy diet.”

An Optimal Snack?

In a satellite session on Sunday, April 27i, researchers explored the question “Are Almonds an Optimal Snack?,” a hot topic given that snacking has become a way of life for most Americans. In fact, 97% of Americans report eating at least one snack a day, with 40% of those surveyed consuming three to four snacks per dayii, so understanding and education about smart snacking is increasingly important.

The body of evidence presented at the conference suggests snacking can be a weight-wise strategy, depending upon the foods consumed. The nutrient profile of almonds — low on the glycemic index and containing a powerful nutrient package that includes hunger-fighting protein (6 g/oz.), filling dietary fiber (4 g/oz.), “good” monounsaturated fats (13 g/oz.)iii, and important vitamins and minerals such as vitamin E (7.4 mg/oz.), magnesium (200 mg/oz.) and potassium (77 mg/oz.) — makes them a satisfying, heart-smart snack choice that can help maintain your weight.

“The research presented [at Experimental Biology 2014] reflects the Almond Board of California’s strong commitment to the advancement of nutrition science,” Dr. Lapsley said. “To date, the California Almond industry has invested more than $15 million in nutrition research that has resulted in more than 100 papers published by internationally recognized scientists in peer-reviewed journals. The Almond Board of California is proud to present science at the elite level of Experimental Biology.”

During the conference in San Diego, representatives from the Almond Board of California’s Nutrition Research Committee also met with well-respected Korean research groups to discuss potential research projects, resulting in two accepted proposals for human research trials that are now underway.

i O’Neil CE, Mattes R, Kris-Etherton P. Are almonds an optimal snack? New research on the health effects of almonds. American Society for Nutrition Sponsored Satellite Program, Experimental Biology 2014, San Diego, CA, held April 27, 2014.
iiPiernas C, Popkin BM. Snacking increased among U.S. adults between 1977 and 2006. J Nutr 2010; 140(2):325–332.
iiiGood 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 of almonds (28g) has 13g of unsaturated fat and only 1g of saturated fat.

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