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Diet quality improves for parents and children when almonds are incorporated into their daily diet

16 December 2015

1.5oz of almonds daily in adults, or 0.5oz for children, could make for a healthier gut and higher-quality diet, according to University of Florida researchers. The study, involving 29 families in the North Florida area with children averaging 4 years of age, examined a variety of factors including gut microbiota, stool frequency and immune function, as well as the overall HEI (Healthy Eating Index) for both parents and children.

Although only a slight change was observed in intestinal microbiota, with no effect apparent in immune modulation, self-report data from participants over 3 weeks of intervention showed HEI increases from below to above the US national average (a mean 8-point improvement). Additionally, more protein was consumed from varying sources, with less sodium and fewer ‘empty calories’ from snacks – indicating a trend towards overall healthier eating habits.

With almonds and other nuts recommended as a healthy source of protein, fats and fibre, forming good snacking habits (especially with young children, at the age when lifetime eating behaviours are being formed) is a low-cost way to improve overall health and lower long-term risk of disease.

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