The Almond Diet

Lower Cholesterol With One Simple Dietary Change

Instead of having a muffin substitute almonds. Researchers writing in the Journal of the American Heart Association evaluated the effect of almonds on heart health in a controlled-feeding setting, using a diet design with only a single, calorie-matched food substitution, to assess their specific effects on cardiometabolic risk factors. They focused on beneficial and non-beneficial forms of low-density lipoprotein (LDL-C) and high-density lipprotein (HDL-C) cholesterol fractions.

In a randomized, 2-period (6 week/period), crossover, controlled-feeding study of 48 individuals with elevated LDL-C, a cholesterol-lowering diet with almonds (1.5 oz. of almonds/day) was compared to an identical diet with an isocaloric muffin substitution (no almonds/day).

The almond diet, compared with the control diet, decreased non-HDL-C (-6.9±2.4 mg/dL) and LDL-C (-5.3±1.9 mg/dL); furthermore, the control diet decreased desirable HDL-C. Almond consumption also reduced abdominal and leg fat, despite no differences in total body weight.

Almonds reduced non-HDL-C, LDL-C and central adiposity, important risk factors for cardiometabolic dysfunction, while maintaining HDL-C concentrations. “Therefore, daily consumption of almonds (1.5 oz.), substituted for a high-carbohydrate snack, may be a simple dietary strategy to prevent the onset of cardiometabolic diseases in healthy individuals.”

Berryman CE, West SG, Fleming JA, Bordi PL, Kris-Etherton PM. Effects of daily almond consumption on cardiometabolic risk and abdominal adiposity in healthy adults with elevated LDL-cholesterol: a randomized controlled trial. J Am Heart Assoc. 2015 Jan 5;4(1):e000993. doi: 10.1161/JAHA.114.000993.
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