LIVINGLIVING MAKING CARBS COUNT
Get a good dose of healthy nutrients from just a handful of almonds,
a snack that is good for heart health. It's as easy as 1,2,3 (you'll see!).
believe that the
almond is a
nut, when in all
actuality it is a
drupe (which is technically a type of fruit).
The English word almond is derived from
the French amande, which in turn is a
derivative of the old Latin word for almond
amygdalus meaning "tonsil plum."
According to the United Nation's Food
and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), the
major producers of almonds are the USA
(41%), Spain (13%), Syria (7%), Italy (6%),
Iran (6%) and Morocco (5%). Algeria,
Tunisia and Greece each account for 3%,
Turkey, Lebanon and China each account
for 2%. In the United States, production is
concentrated in California, with California
almonds being the state's third leading
agricultural product and its top agricultural
export in 2008. California produces 100%
of the U.S. commercial supply.
Almonds are classified as either
sweet (Amygdalus communis L. var.
dulcis) or bitter (Amygdalus communis
L. Var. amara), but you likely only to have
eaten sweet almonds. However, in Italy,
bitter almonds are the traditional base for
amaretti (almond macaroons), a common
dessert. Traditionally, a low percentage of
bitter almonds (10-20%) is added to the
ingredients, which gives the cookies their
bitter taste. When combined with sugar or
honey, almond flour becomes marzipan,
often used as an alternative to wheat flour
in cooking and baking.
The bad news is that cyanide comes
from bitter almonds, though you'd need to
distil it or consume in very high volumes.
The good news is that eating almonds has
been proven to be an advantage heart
health. Scientific evidence suggests, but
does not prove, that eating 1.5 ounces
per day of most nuts, such as almonds,
as part of a diet low in saturated fat and
cholesterol may reduce the risk of heart
disease. One serving of almonds (28g)
has 13g of unsaturated fat and only 1g of
saturated fat and is 160 calories. A 30g
handful of almonds provides 3.8g of filling