Vascular disease includes health conditions that affect the circulatory system or the system of blood vessels.
In a study from King’s College London, scientists 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.
Participants who had above-average heart disease risk ate almonds or a calorie-matched control snack in the six-week study.
The team compared the heart and metabolic health markers between the two groups.
The researchers found that replacing typical snacks with almonds, as 20% of total calorie intake, has the potential to reduce heart disease risk by 32%.
People who ate almonds showed improvement in endothelial function and LDL-cholesterol levels.
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.
The research found 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 carbohydrates, sugar, and sodium.
Almond eaters also had a lower waist circumference of 2.1 cm and a lower BMI of 8 kg/m2.
Researchers suggest that the 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 consume healthier diets in general and have lower body fat.
Both studies suggest that eating almonds can be both beneficial to those with an above-average risk of heart disease and an indication of better diets.
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The study was conducted by Dr. Wendy Hall et al and published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
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