Another win for the super nut, almonds! A study from the University of Florida that was recently published in the Journal of Nutrition shows that just by eating a handful of almonds a day, both parents and children drastically improved their diets.
The 14-week study, conducted on 28 pairs of kids and their parents, initially ranked everyone’s diet according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Healthy Eating Index, which shows how close a person’s diet measures up to U.S dietary guidelines. At the beginning of the study, kids and parents ranked an average of 53.7, showing that everyone’s diet could use some help. (According to the Index, “scores between 51 and 80 reflect a need for improvement” in eating habits.)
After the first ranking, adults were then instructed to eat 1.5 ounces of almonds a day, while kids were asked to eat a half ounce (or the almond butter equivalent). Three weeks later, their diets were ranked again, with the average now sitting at 61.4.
The researchers were particularly interested in how incorporating healthy snacks into a child’s diet could change their eating habits for life. Alyssa Burns, the author of the study, explained:
The habits you have when you are younger are carried into adulthood, so if a parent is able to incorporate almonds or different healthy snacks into a child’s diet, it’s more likely that the child will choose those snacks later on in life.
If you or other people in your family are trying to cut down on the unhealthy snacks, consider adding a small handful of almonds a day for a few weeks and conduct your own experiment! It might just change how you snack for good!
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