The Skinny on Dietary Fat

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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