Why Almonds Such a Good Food Option

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Here is an article by Richard Mates on how Almonds can be a healthy option for breakfast.  Almonds might seem like a fat increasing food because of their oil content, but the fact is that they are one of the healthiest food available. They are vital source of minerals and contain good type of fats apart from fiber.  Consuming Almonds regularly will improve your health significantly.

On my recent trip to Seoul, I saw first-hand the meaning of the “well-being” lifestyle that I’ve heard has been a significant trend in Korea for the past few years.

Staying near Namsan, I regularly saw men and women of all ages out jogging and hiking, especially taking advantage of the crisp, clear fall air and enjoying the changing colors of the trees.

Although maintaining a balanced, healthy lifestyle is a common goal for global public health, obesity rates in a number of countries have continued to rise. In Korea, the obesity rate has likewise increased to 31.8 percent, according to OECD health data this year.

This means it is more important than ever to identify meals or snacks that can counter or minimize the positive energy balance that is accruing in the population over time.

Some believe that having a snack is not desirable and nuts like almonds have too much fat.

However, if we take another view that there are special properties or special interactions when consuming either nutrients in food like protein and fiber, or whole foods like fruits and vegetables, or following a dietary plan like vegan or restricted energy density or even combining all three of these consumption habits, then we can make a conclusion that a calorie does not equal a calorie. There can be other considerations of how calories impact energy balance.

Based on several clinical studies, results have shown that nuts and almonds in particular, contribute to suppressing hunger or the initiation to eat, suppress the desire to eat in the absence of hunger, and lead to fullness helping to control meal size.

For example, a recent study done at Purdue University found that study participants who consumed 43 grams of almonds every day for four weeks either as a snack (morning or afternoon) or part of a meal increased dietary intake of monounsaturated fat and vitamin E, and did not increase daily energy intake or body weight over that time frame.

Another study published in the European Journal of Nutrition in September also found that a mid-morning snack of almonds consumed by healthy, normal weight women helped control appetite and resulted in reduced energy intake the rest of the day.

The nutrient components of the almonds work synergistically to provide a satiety effect.

Almonds are naturally cholesterol-free and do not contain trans-fat. A handful of almonds provide monounsaturated fat, protein and dietary fiber. 30g of almonds contain 13g of dietary fiber ― 16% of the daily value ― as well as 73 percent of the daily value of Vitamin E for Koreans.

I maintain that the key to promoting a healthy diet lies in providing advice that is holistic, that emphasizes the principles of balance, moderation and variety. Almonds can be a good healthful food option in a diet, especially when consumed as a snack, as they provide nutrients without promoting weight gain.

Dr. Mattes is a Distinguished Professor of Foods and Nutrition at Purdue University, Adjunct Associate Professor of Medicine at the Indiana University School of Medicine and Affiliated Scientist at the Monell Chemical Senses Center. His research focuses on areas of hunger and satiety, regulation of food intake in humans and food preferences.

Source – https://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/culture/2014/12/319_169070.html

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