A recent study published in the Journal of Nutrition Research, examined a daily handful of almonds and how this affects diet quality. The researchers limited the participants to include pairs of parents and children, but also encouraged the entire family to participate. Parents were asked to consume 1.5 ounces of whole almonds daily, while children were given the option to consume either 0.5 ounces of whole almonds or almond butter daily.
As a result, the parents and children’s average Healthy Eating Index, a measure of diet quality, increased resulting in an improved health state. In particular, the Healthy Eating Index score for total protein food increased as the intake of empty calories decreased. Researchers theorize that the unhealthy processed snacks participants would typically reach for were replaced with almonds. The study concludes that diet quality can be improved by consuming whole foods, such as fruits vegetables, nuts and seeds.