Almond consumption benefits explored at nutrition conference

April 29, 2014

Studies presented at the American Society of Nutrition’s Scientific Sessions and Annual Meeting, held in conjunction with Experimental Biology 2014, show that almond consumption may benefit abdominal adiposity, measures of appetite and satiety, and cardiovascular risk factors.

Carol O'Neil of Louisiana State University presented a new analysis of 24,808 adults, ages 19+, using National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey data from 2000–2010 showing that almond consumers had increased nutrient intake, improved overall dietary quality, and better physiological status compared with non-almond consumers. While this is a cross-sectional study and therefore cannot be used to draw causal relationships, it suggests an association between almond consumption and positive health status.

Richard Mattes from Purdue University examined the effects of snacking on nutrient-rich almonds in 137 adult participants at risk for type 2 diabetes. Consuming 1.5-oz of dry-roasted, lightly salted almonds daily may help curb participants’ appetites and moderate blood glucose concentrations, while improving vitamin E and monounsaturated fat intake. After a month of snacking on 250 calories from almonds daily, participants did not gain weight. While the study was only four weeks long, it suggests that snacking on almonds could be a weight-wise strategy.

Penny-Kris Etherton from Pennsylvania State University shared results from a new randomized, controlled clinical study examining the effects of consuming 1.5-oz of almonds vs. a calorie-matched, high carbohydrate snack on body weight in 52 adults with elevated LDL cholesterol. Total body weight did not differ between the two treatments, but the almond diet reduced overall abdominal mass, abdominal fat mass, and waist circumference compared to the high-carbohydrate snack. Although the study was just six weeks long, preliminary results suggest that snacking on almonds may help decrease abdominal fat, an important risk factor for metabolic syndrome.

American Society of Nutrition