Background: Caloric consumption in excess leads to weight gain. Consuming nuts, in particular almonds, on a regular basis would likely increase overall caloric intake due to their high fat content, assuming complete digestion and absorption. However, multiple studies report no significant change in body weight when subjects consume nut-rich diets.

Objective: The objective of this study is to measure the effects of almond consumption on stool composition, particularly individual fatty acid content.

Design: Subjects participated in a randomized, crossover, controlled feeding study. Following a 2-week run-in period on a typical American diet (34% energy from fat), subjects were randomized to the Step I diet, low almond diet and high almond diet (0%, 10% or 20% isoenergetic replacement of Step I diet with almonds respectively), for four weeks each. Stool samples were analyzed for total fatty acid and individual fatty acid content.

Results:There was a significant increase in total fat and individual fatty acids excreted on diets with greater amounts of energy from almonds (P-trend

Conclusions: The amount of total fat and individual fatty acids excreted is greater on diets providing 20% of energy as almonds compared to a Step I diet. The fatty acid profile in stool reflects the fatty acid composition of almonds. Excretion of fat, particularly from almonds, may explain why weight balance is achieved with daily consumption of ~68 g of almonds.


Graduate School

First Advisor

Joan Sabaté

Second Advisor

Raymond G. Hall, Jr.

Third Advisor

Sujatha Rajaram

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Degree Level


Year Degree Awarded


Date (Title Page)




Library of Congress/MESH Subject Headings

Fatty Acids; Dietary Fats; Nutrition; Nuts -- metabolism.



Page Count

ix; 49

Digital Format


Digital Publisher

Loma Linda University Libraries

Usage Rights

This title appears here courtesy of the author, who has granted Loma Linda University a limited, non-exclusive right to make this publication available to the public. The author retains all other copyrights.


Loma Linda University Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Collection Website



Loma Linda University. Del E. Webb Memorial Library. University Archives