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The Skinny on Dietary Fat

  [ 72 votes ]   [ Discuss This Article ] • September 6, 2002

WASHINGTON, Sept. 5 /PRNewswire/ -- Trendy diets come and go, but here
comes the word from the top: Today the National Academy of Sciences, the
nation's most prestigious scientific society, will release a report with new
nutritional recommendations for Americans. Sources in the nutrition community
speculate it's likely to bring big news about fat.

We often read and hear that Americans eat too much fat. But research is
now making distinctions among different types of fat, and the role each one
plays in the diet.

If you're avoiding fat in your diet, you may be missing important health
benefits. Monounsaturated fat, obtained from certain plant foods such as nuts
and olive oil, has been shown to play a role in reducing the risk of chronic
heart disease.

Almonds are the leading source of monounsaturated fat among America's most
consumed nuts (almonds, peanuts and walnuts)(1). Of the 14 grams of total fat
found in a one-ounce handful of almonds, 68 percent is monounsaturated.

This monounsaturated fat content is what helps almonds lower harmful
cholesterol, as a University of Toronto study showed last week. Researchers
there asked people to eat a small handful of almonds each day for a month, and
those who did saw their low-density lipoprotein (the so-called "bad"
cholesterol) fall 4.4 percent.

Science is showing that not all fat is created equal -- and what the NAS
determines about fat is soon to be seen.

The Almond Board of California administers a grower-enacted Federal
Marketing Order under the supervision of the United States Department of
Agriculture. Established in 1950, the Board's charge is to promote the best
quality almonds, California's largest tree nut crop. For more information on
the Almond Board of California or almonds, including eating tips and recipes,

(1) USDA Nutrient Database for Standard Reference

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