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Dietitian E-News: Focus on FNCE

FNCE is right around the corner and we’re looking forward to virtually seeing you there, where you can get your FNCE favorite, the Perfect Portion Almond Tin.

9/29/2021

FNCE is right around the corner and we’re looking forward to virtually seeing you there! The Almond Board of California will be in the Expo Hall October 17-19* so meet up with us to discuss almond nutrition benefits in a fun virtual format!  Come visit our Almond Board booth to join us for group chats and one-to-one conversations with our booth staff, and find easy links to curated content including client handouts and webinars. We’re also offering a limited number each day of every dietitian’s favorite FNCE find – the Perfect Portion Almond Tin! Stop by the booth and learn how you can get yours. After FNCE Virtual concludes, connecting with you doesn’t end. Besides getting our eNewsletter, we’re always on call to help support your learning goals and understanding about almond nutrition research.  Whether you need a handout for clients, recipe inspiration or webinars for CEU credit, you’ll find lots of great info on our website.  We look forward to seeing all of you at FNCE soon!

*Official FNCE Exhibiting Hours are Sunday, Oct 17 (10 am – 5:30 pm Central Time), Monday, October 18 (10 am – 5 pm Central Time) and Tuesday, Oct 19 (10 am – 4 pm Central Time).

RECIPE: Almond Tamari Crisps

These savory crisps, with just a hint of sweetness, are filled with the delicious crunchiness of almonds, seeds and nori to make one super snack!  For more delicious recipes, visit our Recipe Center.

ALMOND TAMARI CRISPS

Sample Post: Crispy, crunchy, savory and slightly sweet. You’ll love these #Almond Tamari Crisps.

https://bit.ly/3l5kh6G

RESEARCH UPDATE: New Review Paper Examines Almond Health Benefits

A new comprehensive review paperlooked at 64 randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and 14 systematic reviews examining the impact of eating almonds in the key research areas of heart health, diabetes, weight management and satiety, gut health cognition, and more recently, skin health.*

Since this peer-reviewed paper is so expansive, the author separated the review into three categories.  Outlined here are the key findings from each section to act as signposts to the research reviewed.

The first section of the paper focuses on the effect of almonds on weight measures, including weight gain and loss, waist circumference (WC), appetite, hunger, satiety, metabolizable energy (ME), energy density (ED) and weight control mechanisms. Examining these studies, the author concluded:

  • Almonds are a higher energy-dense (ED) food that acts like a lower ED food when consumed, as evidenced by calorie bioaccessibility studies.
  • Systematic reviews and meta-analyses of nut RCTs show that almonds are the only nut that shows a small but significant decrease in both mean body mass and fat mass, compared to control diets.
  • Displacement of other foods, decreased macronutrient bioavailability for a lower net metabolizable energy (ME), upregulation of acute signals for reduced hunger, and elevated satiety and increased resting energy expenditure were identified as the mechanisms for weight control with almond consumption.

Next, the review focuses on the effect of almonds on multiple metabolic health biomarkers and outcomes.  In this section, the author notes that “Two of the most important nutritional attributes of almonds associated with the reduced risk and better management of CVD and T2 diabetes are the healthy unsaturated lipids and low glycemic index (GI) and glycemic load (GL).” The review paper explains these CVD conclusions based on studies reviewed:

  • The intake of 42.5 g/day of almonds significantly lowered low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), 10-year Framingham estimated coronary heart disease (CHD) risk and even associated cardiovascular disease (CVD) medical expenditures.
  • Diastolic blood pressure (BP) was modestly but significantly lowered when almonds were consumed at >42.5 g/day or for >6 weeks.

The final section of the review paper focuses on gut health and includes the following conclusion from eight RCTs:

  • Almonds can support colonic microbiota health by promoting microflora richness and diversity, increasing the ratio of symbiotic to pathogenic microflora, and concentrations of health-promoting colonic bioactives.
  • The paper explains the potential dietary mechanism as follows,“ There is a growing body of RCTs that are emerging to support almond’s role in promoting a healthy microbiota. The colonic microbiota appears to play a major role in human metabolic health, and it is primarily controlled by the nutritional quality of the diet. Colonic microbiota can be modulated positively or negatively by different lifestyle and dietary factors and impact the risk of developing obesity, chronic diseases (e.g., diabetes, CVD, and metabolic syndrome features), and infectious diseases.”

Limitations of the research in this review are noted and include that most of the almond RCTs have a relatively small number of subjects and are of short duration, which may lead to excessive heterogeneity and mask some other metabolic outcomes.  Also, this review did not score the quality of each study or provide a quantitative, scientific synthesis of all RCTs into a statistical overall mean or analysis of subgroups, effect sizes, and heterogeneity, independently of what was provided by the specific RCTs reviewed.  You can read the full review paper here.

1. Dreher ML. A Comprehensive Review of Almond Clinical Trials on Weight Measures, Metabolic Health Biomarkers and Outcomes, and the Gut Microbiota. Nutrients. 2021; 13(6):1968. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13061968.