Health Advice



Redefining snack time

By Michael Roizen, M.D. on

Almost 60 % of Americans regularly eat cookies and chips for snacks. In fact, they eat something like 2 billion cookies -- 300 per person -- and around 1.85 billion pounds of potato chips, or about 6.6 pounds per person, every year. Yikes! No wonder we have a diabetes and obesity epidemic. So, let me introduce you to a really tasty snack that will make you healthier one handful at a time: the almond.

A study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition looked at the impact of eating ground or whole almonds on the gut health of folks who didn't get much dietary fiber and ate lots of chips and other snack foods. Some participants ate 2 ounces of whole almonds a day; some ate 2 ounces of ground almonds, and the control group ate a muffin. Turns out the fiber, fatty acids, potassium and other nutrients in almonds increase the level of a short-chain fatty acid called butyrate in your gut. Butyrate's job is to provide fuel to cells lining your colon. And, when those cells are happy, your gut microbiome is healthier, you absorb more nutrients and have less intestinal inflammation. That's good for your immune system, glucose management, even emotional health. The almond eaters also had 1.5 more bowel movements weekly -- indicating almonds may ease constipation.

So, go nuts! Sprinkle ground almonds over your stir-fried veggies and chicken, eat a handful for an afternoon snack or add them to your salads. Psst! Walnuts and other tree nuts are great choices, too.



Health pioneer Michael Roizen, M.D., is chief wellness officer emeritus at the Cleveland Clinic and author of four No. 1 New York Times bestsellers. His next book is "The Great Age Reboot: Cracking the Longevity Code for a Younger Tomorrow." Do you have a topic Dr. Mike should cover in a future column? If so, please email

(c)2022 Michael Roizen, M.D.

Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

(c) 2022 Michael Roizen, M.D. Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.



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