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Eating just a handful of almonds could give your health a boost

A handful of almonds can set children up for a lifetime of healthy choices.

A new study from the University of Florida has found that improving your diet can be as simple as adding a handful of almonds into the mix.
Researchers wanted to investigate the effect that a small portion of almonds can have on the overall quality of a person’s diet. In order to do this, they collected data from 28 parent-child pairs living in North Central Florida.
The parents were told to eat 42 grams of whole almonds every day during a three week period. Children were encouraged to eat 14 grams of almonds or the equivalent amount of almond butter.
The researchers used a healthy rating index to measure the participants eating habits at the beginning of the intervention and again at the end. They discovered the average healthy eating index scores for both parents and children in the study had improved.
When they examined the data, the researchers found the parents and children were replacing salty and processed snacks with almonds, which are high in protein, Vitamin E, antioxidants and calcium.
Lead researcher Alyssa Burns says it is an important discovery because encouraging healthy eating habits begins in childhood.
"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," Burns explains.
The study was published in the January edition of the Nutrition Research journal.

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