By: Chris O'Shea
If you want to live a long, healthy life, you have to eat good food. That means eating french fries when you want a snack is a no go. Well, you can do that if you want to die quickly. Otherwise, you have got to find "good" things to eat. And if you're an almond lover, you're in luck. According to research, they're pretty much the best food you can eat.
In a month, the results of six studies on almonds will be unveiled, but we can give you a quick summary of what they found: Almonds are perfect. In every way. Given that Americans love to snack, this is a big moment. In fact, according to studies, about 97 percent of Americans report eating at least one snack a day, and 40 percent report eating three to four snacks per day. If Americans could pick the right snack, they'd likely be a lot more healthy.
One of the studies, conducted by Dr. Carol O’Neil of Louisiana State University, analyzed about 25,000 adults and their eating habits. O'Neil found that those who ate a handful of almonds a day also had consumed more nutrients, had an overall high quality diet and were also more physically healthy than those who did not eat almonds.
Another report that will be presented at next month's American Society of Nutrition's Scientific Sessions and Annual Meeting looked at those who suffered from Type 2 Diabetes. Dr. Richard Mattes, of Purdue University, found that eating just one ounce of almonds a day helped reduce the participants' appetites and keep their blood glucose levels moderate, something that is critical for those with the disease.
Despite these findings, Dr. Penny-Kris Etherton, of Pennsylvania State University, might be the rock star of next month's conference. Why? Because her study found that almonds can be used to lose weight. Etherton had 52 adults eat either 1.5 ounces of almonds or 1.5 ounces of a high carb product, such as crackers. Over the six week period, those who ate almonds had smaller stomachs, less stomach fat, and smaller waist sizes than those who ate the crackers. That's pretty much case closed. Once people hear that almonds can help them lose weight, they'll start shoveling them in their pie holes by the dozens. Of course that will be too much and they'll all end up fat again. America!
Unsurprisingly, the Almond Board of California is pretty excited about these reports. "Presenting new research to this audience of scientists and health professionals is critical to turning the findings into practical application and recommendations," Dr. Karen Lapsley, the Almond Board's Chief Science Officer, said in a press release. "These results help to advance the evolution of our understanding of almonds' beneficial effects as part of a healthy diet." They also help to advance the Almond Board's bottom line. But hey, if they're this good, you might as well give them a try. Just, try not to eat too many, okay?
[Image via Flickr - Healthalicious]