Educating health professionals as to the health benefits of almond consumption (AL07017)
This is a final research report from Hort Innovation’s historical archives. Please note that as these reports may date back as far as the 1990s, the content and recommendations within them may be superseded by more recent research.
What was it all about?
Over the previous three years, the Almond Board of Australia had developed and implemented an educational program for key health professionals concerning the nutritional benefits of eating almonds.
The basis of this educational program had been the nutritional science that showed a strong relationship between eating 30 grams of almonds everyday and improved heart health.
One of the key educational resources developed in this program had been a document outlining the relationship between almond consumption and lowering LDL cholesterol, as this was one of the key bio-markers of heart health.
The major health professional segments included in this educational program were general practitioners (GP’s), dietitians and fitness advisors. The GP’s had received specific focus as they were the most influential sector of health professionals. More Australians contacted a GP than any other health professional.
One of the most successful ways of educating these health professionals had been through the development and distribution of the 30 gram heart-shaped almond tin.
These tins were designed to hold the recommended portion of almonds for a healthy daily diet. They were embraced by the health professionals involved in our educational activities and they in turn passed them onto their clients and patients.
While the educational activities of this program made a positive contribution towards improving the nutritional knowledge of health professionals, a significant amount of work remained.
This was due to the pervasive impact of the 'culture of the low-fat diet' on the perceptions and advice of health professionals. The 1990's nutritional science of advocating 'low-fat diets' for weight loss continues to inform both the nutritional advice of health professionals and the product development by the Australian food industry.
It was important for the Australian almond industry to continue its educational work surrounding the important nutritional role almonds play in a healthy daily diet, with a particular focus on the healthy fats in almonds.
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This project was funded by Hort Innovation (then Horticulture Australia Limited) with the financial support of Almond Board of Australia (ABA).
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