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MODESTO, Calif. - A study presented at the Obesity Society Annual Scientific Meeting 2006 (NAAS0) in Boston last week adds to the evidence that almonds are satiating, or satisfying, and eating a handful or two a day (up to two ounces) may play a valuable role in managing weight, so says the Almond Board of California (ABC).
Indeed, ABC research shows consumers are not only hearing but also responding to the messages they've been hearing for a few years now about almonds' rich nutrition and important role for a healthy cholesterol level and a healthy weight. Many are looking actively for almonds in menu items and products at the supermarket.
"Consumers are increasingly associating almonds with good health - they feel good about eating them," said Connie Gutterson, a nutrition consultant for the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone. "At the same time, like chocolate and red wine, almonds will always be a treat. They're crunchy and indulgent, they add value, and they're delicious. They go with all kinds of foods, at any time of day. With the increasing pressure the food industry feels to address consumers' health concerns, almonds provide the best of both worlds - both taste appeal and health."
Highlights of ABC's consumer research include:
- In 2006, 32 percent of Americans said they had had heard a positive health story in the news about almonds.
- The average consumer health perception scores are continuing a strong upward trend from 73 percent in 2005 to 79 percent in 2006.
- The number of Americans who like the taste of almonds is at a record high since ABC started conducting the annual consumer survey in 1999.
- Almonds "taste better" and are "more nutritious" were cited as the top reasons consumers say they look specifically for almonds.
- The percentage of those reporting "great snack" as the number one reason to buy almonds increased significantly from three percent in 2005 to 12 percent in 2006.
In light of encouraging findings revealed from ABC's latest study on almonds and weight, "We concluded that the women found their daily almond snack to be very filling, and so they naturally compensated in their caloric intake at other times of the day," said the lead researcher, Richard Mattes, P.h.D, R.D. from Purdue University.
Adds Karen Lapsley, ABC's director of scientific affairs: "This latest study adds to evidence that almonds are not only nutritious, they can be satisfying - a good choice in place of a snack or ingredient that's less nutrient-rich and less filling."