According to a new study published in the European Journal of Nutrition, consumption of whole almonds is associated with improved dietary quality and reduced cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors. However, almond consumption remains poor in the UK population.
Researchers conducted a cross-sectional analysis of data from adult participants (n=6802) who completed at least three days of four days estimated food diary in the National Diet and Nutrition Survey Rolling Programme 2008-2017.
7.1 per cent of the population reported consuming almond kernels, with a median intake of five grams per day. Individuals who consumed almonds reported higher intakes of protein, total and unsaturated fats, fibre and micronutrients (vitamin E, thiamine, riboflavin, folate, pantothenic acid, biotin, vitamin C, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, copper, zinc, manganese and selenium), as well as lower intakes of trans-fatty acids, total carbohydrate, sugar and sodium than non-consumers.
Almond consumers also had a slightly lower body mass index (25.5 kg/m2 vs 26.3 kg/m2; P=.010) and waist circumference (88.0 vs 90.1 cm; P=.007) than non-consumers. There were no differences in blood pressure between almond consumers and non-consumers.
The authors conclude: "Encouraging snacking on nuts, including almonds, to replace snack foods high in saturated fatty acids, refined starches and free sugars may contribute to the sum effect of a healthy dietary pattern on reduced risk of cardiovascular diseases."