So How Many Almonds Do I Need To Eat
A study showed a 5% reduction in LDL cholesterol per 1/4 cup of almonds and a 10% reduction per 1/2 cup.
Therefore, in order to reduce LDL cholesterol by 10%, you could try eating about 73 grams of almonds a day. This is roughly half a cup of almonds. Theres about 400 calories in this amount.
Until now, there are no studies about the effects of eating an entire cup of almonds a day. However, because they have a lot of calories, doing so wouldnt exactly be advisable.
Improving Blood Sugar Levels At The Prediabetes Stage May Help Prevent Or Delay The Development Of Diabetes
Given the growing number of people with diabetes and even pre-diabetes conditions, there is an urgent need to re-look at certain lifestyle habits. A new study pointed out that snacking on almonds helped improve glucose metabolism in adolescents and young adults in India with prediabetes.
Carried out in Mumbai, the randomised controlled clinical trial aimed to determine the effect of almond consumption on factors of metabolic dysfunction including blood glucose, lipids, insulin, and selected inflammatory markers in adolescents and young adults with prediabetes in the city.
The study was a parallel trial of 275 participants with impaired glucose metabolism . At the start of the study, participants weight, height, and waist and hip circumferences were measured, and fasting blood samples were taken. Participants also underwent a glucose tolerance test and their lipid profiles were assessed.
Improving blood sugar levels at the pre-diabetes stage may help prevent or delay the development of diabetes. Additionally, almond consumption reduced total cholesterol and bad LDL-cholesterol significantly compared to the control group, while maintaining good HDL-cholesterol levels.
How does that happen?
Fasting blood glucose levels were significantly reduced in the control group compared to the almond group post-intervention. In the almond group, FG:FI ratio decreased while it increased in the control group but was not statistically significant.
Almonds Deliver A Massive Amount Of Nutrients
Almonds are the edible seeds of Prunus dulcis, more commonly called the almond tree.
They are native to the Middle East, but the US is now the worlds largest producer.
The almonds you can buy in stores usually have the shell removed, revealing the edible nut inside. They are sold either raw or roasted.
They are also used to produce almond milk, oil, butter, flour or paste also known as marzipan.
Almonds boast an impressive nutrient profile. A 1-ounce serving of almonds contains :
- Fiber: 3.5 grams
- Fat: 14 grams
- Vitamin E: 37% of the RDI
- Manganese: 32% of the RDI
- Magnesium: 20% of the RDI
- They also contain a decent amount of copper, vitamin B2 and phosphorus.
This is all from a small handful, which supplies only 161 calories and 2.5 grams of digestible carbohydrates.
It is important to note that your body does not absorb 1015% of their calories because some of the fat is inaccessible to digestive enzymes (
For this reason, blanched almonds those with skin removed are not the best choice from a health perspective.
A clinical trial in 60 male smokers found that about 3 ounces of almonds per day reduced oxidative stress biomarkers by 2334% over a four-week period .
These findings support those of another study which found that eating almonds with main meals reduced some markers of oxidative damage .
Summary Almonds are high in antioxidants that can protect your cells from oxidative damage, a major contributor to aging and disease.
Why Unsaturated Fats Are Good For Your Heart
If you read the nutrition label for almonds, you may notice theyre higher in fat than other foods youre used to consuming. Dont be alarmed by this. The fat in almonds is unsaturated aka healthy fat. These fats are good for your heart because they can lower your bad cholesterol and raise your good cholesterol. So if youre trying to manage your cholesterol, almonds are a good snack choice.
And unsaturated fats arent just good for your heart. They boost serotonin levels during the day, which in turn help you sleep better at night. Almonds are also high in vitamin E, which helps to stave off infection and boost your immune system.
If youre watching your weight, or trying to lose weight, an alluring benefit of almonds is that theyre a great source of fiber. This means they help keep you feeling fuller for a longer time. One study found people who ate nuts at least two times a week were less likely to gain weight than people who did not have nuts in their diet.
The amount of fiber found in almonds is especially important if you have type 2 diabetes. The fiber in almonds keeps your blood sugar more stable, which reduces the risk of having a spike in blood sugar.
Handful Of Almonds A Day
A handful of almonds a day keeps the cholesterol at bay? It seems that those heart-healthy almonds really do the body some additional good when it comes to helping with cholesterol according to new research.
Good news for all the nut lovers out there! It may not be new news that almonds are heart healthy, but it is good news for those with high cholesterol levels and those seeking to not have high cholesterol in the first place.
So instead of noshing on crackers, pretzels or chips head for the almonds next time hunger pangs strike you — do your heart some good, according to researchers at Penn State University.
Eating almonds on a regular basis could help boost a persons high-density lipoprotein or HDL cholesterol, which is often called the good cholesterol, as well as improve the way low-density lipoprotein or LDL cholesterol is removed from the body.
Researchers said although theres a great deal of research out there that shows a diet including almonds lowers LDL cholesterol. LDL cholesterol is a major risk factor for heart disease. However, there was not as much information about how almonds affect HDL cholesterol, which is considered good cholesterol and helps lower risk of heart disease.
Almonds not only boost HDL cholesterol and lower LDL cholesterol, but also provide good fats, vitamin E and fiber as well. The study was published in The Journal of Nutrition.
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Research Highlight: Snacking On Almonds Reduces Bad Ldl
In a recent study, researchers from King’s College London used Nightingaleâs blood analysis technology to find that switching to whole almonds as snacks for just six weeks can improve heart health and lower unhealthy LDL-cholesterol levels.
You may think of snacks as the small meal of the day. However, data from the UK and USA show that most people consume more than 2 snacks per day, contributing to 20-25% of their daily energy intake on average. Whatâs concerning is that the average snack has a nutrient profile of 14% of energy as saturated fats and 23% of energy as sugars â both exceeding the upper-limit dietary recommendations of their intake which can lead to poorer heart health in the long run.
Therefore, improving snacking habits â replacing habitual daily snacks with the right healthier options â can significantly impact a personâs long-term health and well-being.
In this 6-week randomised study, the researchers used Nightingaleâs blood analysis technology to investigate whether substituting average snack energy intakes with whole nuts like almonds could improve a personâs heart and metabolic health.
Study found snacking on whole nuts significantly lowers bad LDL-cholesterol levels even among adults with a high risk of heart diseases
Main findings: how almonds can help improve health
Researchers found that substituting almonds as snacks for just 6 weeks:
Read the full research paper here.
What other similar studies say
Almonds Prevent Harmful Oxidation Of Ldl Cholesterol
Almonds do more than just lower LDL levels in your blood.
They also protect LDL from oxidation, which is a crucial step in the development of heart disease.
Almond skin is rich in polyphenol antioxidants, which prevent oxidation of cholesterol in test-tubes and animal studies .
The effect may be even stronger when combined with other antioxidants such as vitamin E.
One human study showed that snacking on almonds for one month lowered oxidized LDL cholesterol levels by 14% .
This should lead to a reduced risk of heart disease over time.
Summary Bad LDL cholesterol can become oxidized, which is a crucial step in the development of heart disease. Snacking on almonds has been shown to significantly reduce oxidized LDL.
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The Truth About Peanuts
In my grocery store experiment, peanuts took a beating. However, many studies show eating peanuts, including peanut butter, can reduce heart risk. In the Nurses Health Study, those women who consumed peanuts and peanut butter lowered their risk of heart disease by 34 percent. The greatest benefit was in those who ate peanuts multiple times a week. In a study of 6,309 women with diabetes, eating one serving of peanuts five times a week or more lowered risk of heart disease by 44 percent.
Eating peanuts and peanut butter has also been shown to lower risk of diabetes in both lean and overweight women. Finally, like many other nuts, peanuts as an alternative food source for your protein needs can lower your cholesterol, particularly when added to other healthy diet choices.
If you are like the people in my study, perhaps you are asking: Are peanuts better than the others I have mentioned?
Foods That Lower Cholesterol Naturally
Add these versatile foods to your diet for a healthier heart.
You’ve probably seen certain foods touted as helpful for lowering cholesterol. But how exactly are diet and cholesterol connected?
Let’s back up for a minute. In case you need a quick refresher on cholesterol, we all have two natural types in our bodies: HDL, the happy or good kind, and LDL, the lousy kind. In general, having a high HDL is healthy, while having a high LDL is linked to an increased risk of heart disease.
Thats because LDL tends to clog and harden arteries, whereas HDL carries LDL away from the arteries to your liver to be eliminated. HDL also seems to protect against damage to blood vessels .
Then theres dietary cholesterol, found in animal-based foods. Experts used to think that eating high-cholesterol foodslike egg yolks and shrimpraised total blood cholesterol levels. Newer research has shown thats not true.
But what we do know for certain is that other foods can help manage or improve your overall cholesterol profile, and reduce your risk of heart disease. Below are my top five picks for these cholesterol helpersplus easy and tasty ways to eat them more often.
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Almonds And Vitamin E
Almonds contain relatively high levels of vitamin E. Vitamin E contains antioxidants, such as tocopherol.
Some experts suggest using magnesium supplements to improve blood sugar profiles, but almonds may offer a suitable dietary source instead.
Learn more about how nuts may help people with diabetes.
Do Almonds Lower Cholesterol
There have been multiple studies that have looked at the effect that almonds have on lipids, and the results appear promising. These studies have looked at a wide range of individuals, including those with high cholesterol, normal cholesterol levels, diabetes, and who are obese, consuming anywhere between 20 to 168 g of almonds a day for 4 to 16 weeks. This is roughly equivalent to 1 to 6 handfuls of almonds a day. In some studies, almonds replaced some of the fats consumed in the diet, whereas in other cases, almonds were added to a healthy diet. Almonds used in these studies were either raw, roasted, or supplemented in other healthy foods.
Studies to date have suggested that almond consumption may be associated with reduced cholesterol levels of 3% to 25% and with reduced LDL cholesterol levels by 4% to 35%
Larger studies are required to confirm these promising results.
The effects of almonds on HDL cholesterol vary. While some studies have noted a slight increase in HDL of up to about 4%. other studies have seen no impact on HDL levels. In most studies, triglyceride levels also appear unaffected by almond consumption.
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Protein And Saturated Fat
To lower cholesterol, substitute almonds for some of the animal protein in your diet. You need about 5 oz. to 6 1/2 oz. of protein daily, depending on your gender, age and level of activity. A 1/2-oz. serving of almonds equals 1 oz. of animal protein. If you substituted 1 1/2 oz. of nuts for 3 oz. of hamburger, you would reduce your saturated fat intake by 4.4 g. A 1 1/2-oz. serving of almonds contains 1.6 g of saturated fat, compared to 6 g in 3 oz. of lean ground beef. A cholesterol-conscious diet limits saturated fat to 16 g to 22 g a day.
Almonds Can Lower Cholesterol Levels
High levels of LDL lipoproteins in your blood also known as bad cholesterol is a well-known risk factor for heart disease.
Your diet can have major effects on LDL levels. Some studies have shown almonds to effectively lower LDL.
A 16-week study in 65 people with prediabetes found that a diet providing 20% of calories from almonds lowered LDL cholesterol levels by an average of 12.4 mg/dL .
Another study found that eating 1.5 ounces of almonds per day lowered LDL cholesterol by 5.3 mg/dL while maintaining good HDL cholesterol. Participants also lost belly fat .
Summary Eating one or two handfuls of almonds per day can lead to mild reductions in bad LDL cholesterol, potentially reducing the risk of heart disease.
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What Nuts Are High In Omega
Omega-3 fatty acids are essential fatty acids that have the responsibility to protect and enhance important body functions.
Studies have shown that consumption of Omega-3 fatty acids can decrease heart disease incidence and prevent conditions such as eczema, arthritis, and certain types of cancer.
The three most common and important types of Omega-3 fatty acids are:
- Alpha-linolenic acid
- Docosahexaenoic acid
- Eicosapentaenoic acid
While the first type of Omega-3 can be easily found in plants, the other two are mainly present in animal products, fish, and algae.
However, you can get Omega-3 from flaxseed powder and vegan Omega-3 supplements.
One of the main characteristics of Omega-3 to remember is that our bodies do not naturally produce them.
Therefore, they must be consumed from the foods in your diet.
Nuts should be an essential component of a healthy diet, mainly because they are naturally rich in Omega-3 fatty acids.
Some of the best nuts that have plenty of Omega-3 includes:
Health Benefits Of Eating Nuts
In general, nuts are good sources of fat, fiber and protein.
Most of the fat in nuts is monounsaturated fat, as well as omega-6 and omega-3 polyunsaturated fat. However, they do contain some saturated fat.
Nuts also pack a number of vitamins and minerals, including magnesium and vitamin E.
Many studies have investigated the health benefits of increased nut intake.
One meta-analysis of 33 studies found that diets high in nuts do not significantly affect weight gain or weight loss .
Yet, despite having little effect on weight, many studies have shown that people who eat nuts live longer than those who dont. This may be due to their ability to help prevent a number of chronic diseases .
For example, nuts may reduce risk factors for metabolic syndrome, such as high blood pressure and cholesterol levels .
In fact, one study in over 1,200 people found that eating a Mediterranean diet plus 30 grams of nuts per day decreased the prevalence of metabolic syndrome more than a low-fat diet or a Mediterranean diet with olive oil .
Furthermore, nuts may reduce your risk of other chronic diseases. For example, eating nuts may improve blood sugar levels and lower your risk of certain cancers (
Eating nuts may help reduce risk factors for many chronic diseases, including heart disease and diabetes.
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How Long Does It Take For Consumed Foods To Help Lower Bad Cholesterol
A 2015 study from Penn State University found that obese or overweight people had a 50% drop in LDL levels after following an avocado-rich, low-fat diet for five weeks. An earlier study from Mexico reported that a similar diet in healthy people with mild hypercholesterolemia reduced total cholesterol by 17% and “bad” LDL cholesterol by 22% after only seven days.
Eating Almonds With Chocolate May Lower Cholesterol
By Lisa Rapaport, Reuters Health
4 Min Read
– Overweight and obese people who eat almonds and chocolate every day may have lower cholesterol than their counterparts who dont consume these foods, a recent experiment suggests.
Consumed separately, almonds and chocolate have each been linked to lower blood sugar, blood pressure, cholesterol and hunger levels in previous studies. All of these things are risk factors for heart disease.
For the current study, researchers tested cholesterol levels in 31 overweight and obese people. For four weeks, all of them followed a typical American diet. Every day for another four weeks, they all added almost one-third of a cup of almonds to the typical diet. In another four-week period, participants added almost one-quarter cup of dark chocolate and about 2.5 tablespoons of cocoa powder per day. Everyone also had a four-week period of adding both the nuts and the dark chocolate with cocoa to their diet.
Adding just the almonds reduced participants levels of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol – the bad kind that can build up in blood vessels and lead to clots and heart attacks – by 7 percent, the study found.
Combining almonds with dark chocolate and cocoa also reduced small, dense LDL particles that are a risk factor for cardiovascular disease, researchers report in the Journal of the American Heart Association.
The results dont mean its wise for people to eat almonds and chocolate by the pound, however.
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