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Almond Milk

Are almonds good for you? Benefits of this nutrient-dense snack.

Delaney Nothaft
Special to USA TODAY

Some of us like to sprinkle almonds on ice cream. Or spread almond butter over toast. Almonds makes for a great snack – and sometimes, it’s even a refreshing beverage in the form of almond milk.

Almonds are one of the most popular and enjoyed tree nuts,” says Kat Benson, a registered dietitian with Top Nutrition Coaching. “They are excellent sources of plant-based protein, which can help with satiety, muscle repair, and growth, as well as heart-healthy fats, which are not only beneficial for heart health but for brain health as well.” 

Nuts belong to the protein food group and may act as a key protein component in vegetarian diets.

Are almonds good for you?

Yes. Benson says almonds are similar to other tree nuts in that they are nutrient-dense, however, “almonds stand out for its fiber, protein, unsaturated fat, and vitamin E levels, which together are beneficial for heart health, digestive health, blood sugar control, and overall well-being,” she says. “They are also one of the more readily available types of tree nuts.” 

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Adding any type of nuts, legumes or seeds to your diet is going to contribute to a healthier diet.

Is there anything unhealthy about almonds?

Not really. But this question may arise because 3,000 years ago almonds were bitter and poisonous through the accumulation of deadly levels of cyanogenic diglucoside amygdalin, basically cyanide. However, evidence shows that through genomic selection and domestication, a new non-toxic variety was developed and cultivated around the time of the Pharaohs.

Other than avoiding wild, non-commercial almonds, those with tree nut allergies need to steer clear to avoid an allergic reaction.

How many almonds should you eat a day?

USDA analysis shows that a one-ounce serving of raw almonds, about 24 total, contains roughly 165 calories, 14 grams of fat, 6 grams of protein, 3.5 grams of fiber 1.2 grams of sugar and healthy amounts of vitamin E and magnesium. Sounds like a healthy snack or perhaps a meal replacement. Just be careful if the almonds are salted or flavored as that jacks up your sodium content, which may not be ideal for those with hypertension or other sensitivities.

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