Almonds Love Your Heart
Heart disease can be caused by a combination of things – genetic predisposition, diet, underlying inflammatory conditions, or other lifestyle choices.
If you struggle with cholesterol imbalance, almonds, a food rich in protein, fiber, and healthy fats, may provide a simple dietary intervention to help you get your numbers back into line.
You’re probably already aware of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, aka “bad” cholesterol and high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol or “good” cholesterol. While there are debates about the value of framing cholesterol this way, the fact is, the higher your ratio of HDL to LDL, the healthier your blood vessels and arteries remain.
Almonds, an affordable and readily available food, have been shown to lower LDL and maintain HDL levels in clinical research. That means that you can literally snack (in appropriate portions, of course) your way to a better cholesterol profile.
While this review was specific to India and other regions of South Asia, the evidence that almonds can help bolster cardiovascular health is universal. The good news is that simply by adding handfuls of this delicious food to your diet every day, you can improve your cholesterol balance, and show your heart some extra love.
Kalita S, Khandelwal S, Madan J, Pandya H, Sesikeran B, Krishnaswamy K. Almonds and Cardiovascular Health: A Review. Nutrients. 2018;10(4):468. Published 2018 Apr 11. doi:10.3390/nu10040468
Several preventive strategies to reduce dyslipidemia have been suggested, of which dietary modification features as an important one. Dyslipidemia is a major risk factor for coronary heart disease and strategies to manage dyslipidemia have been shown to reduce the incidence of cardiovascular disease (CVD). Although there are proven pharmacological therapies to help manage this condition, nutritional interventions are a safer option to help prevent and manage dyslipidemia. Addition of almonds in the daily diet has been proposed to beneficially impact the lipid profile. This review critically examines the available evidence assessing the effect of almonds on dyslipidemia in the South Asian (particularly Indian) context. An extensive review comprised of epidemiological studies, clinical trials, meta-analyses, and systematic reviews was conducted from published literature from across the world. Studies examining the effect of almonds on different aspects of dyslipidemia viz. high low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (LDL-C), low high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (HDL-C), triglyceridaemia, and high total cholesterol levels have been included. In several studies, almonds have been shown to reduce LDL-C-which is a known risk factor for CHD-and the effect of almonds has been well documented in systematic reviews and meta-analysis of clinical trials. Addition of almonds in the diet has been shown to not only to reduce LDL-C levels, but also to maintain HDL-C levels. This review provides information about the use of this simple nutritional strategy which may help manage known major risk factors for heart disease, such as high LDL-C and low HDL-C levels especially in the context of South Asians.