In a new study, researchers found that replacing popular snacks such as biscuits and crisps with almonds can improve endothelial function, a key indicator of vascular health, and lower ‘bad’ LDL-cholesterol.
The research was conducted by a team at King’s College London.
People who had high heart disease risk consumed almonds or a calorie-matched control snack in the six-week study. Researchers compared several health markers between the two groups.
The improvement in endothelial function and LDL-cholesterol levels suggests that replacing typical snacks with almonds, as 20% of total calorie intake, has the potential to reduce adjusted relative cardiovascular disease risk by 32%.
The study adds to recent research, which found people who eat almonds in the UK have a lower waist circumference and lower BMI than those who do not.
In that study, researchers examined a four-day food diary from 6,802 adults and found that UK adults who eat almonds have a healthier diet, as they have higher reported intakes of protein, total fat, vitamin C, fiber, potassium, and other health supplements.
They also had lower intakes of trans-fatty acids, total carbohydrate, sugar and sodium.
Almond eaters also had a lower waist circumference by 2.1 cm and a lower BMI by. 8 kg/m2.
The team says consumption of whole tree nuts such as almonds is an important part of a healthy diet.
The research using a large UK population database shows that intakes are low in adults, but those who do report eating almonds are also more likely to eat healthier diets in general and have lower body fat.
These findings suggest that eating almonds can be both beneficial to those with a high risk of cardiovascular disease and an indication of better diets.
One author of the study is Dr. Wendy Hall, Reader in Nutritional Sciences at King’s College London.
The study is published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
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