A recent study conducted by researchers at Pennsylvania State University (or Penn State) shows that regularly eating nuts, such as almonds, is good for you and keeps cholesterol levels within the normal range. Without therefore going to necessarily look for chemical remedies, such as statins, to keep cholesterol under control and improve the functionality of High Density Lipoproteins, or HDL cholesterol (the “good” one), a little almonds could be enough. Almonds and high cholesterol
The intake of almonds, according to what emerged from the study,
can help increase HDL cholesterol levels, helping to
remove excess cholesterol, especially LDL, or “bad” cholesterol.
For this study, Penn State researchers led by Professor Penny
M. Kris-Etherton analyzed and compared HDL cholesterol levels and
its functions in a group of people invited to consume a handful of almonds
every day. Likewise, they then analyzed and compared
HDL cholesterol levels and functions when the same study participants
ate a muffin every day. The results of the study
The full study was published in the Journal of Nutrition, and the results revealed that when the participants followed the almond diet, their HDL levels and functionality improved. “There is a lot of research that has shown that a diet that includes almonds lowers low-density lipoprotein, or LDL cholesterol, which is a major risk factor for heart disease,” explained Professor Penny M. Kris-Etherton. – But still it was not known how almonds affected HDL cholesterol, considered a good cholesterol that helps reduce the risk of heart disease ». Not just cholesterol levels, but cleaning arteries
The researchers also wanted to see if almonds,
in addition to increasing HDL cholesterol levels, they could improve its
functions. This type of dried fruit is characterized by its ability to “clean”
the arteries by collecting and sweeping the bad cholesterol from the tissues. “HDL
is very small when released into the bloodstream –
specified Kris-Etherton – It is like a garbage bag that
slowly becomes larger and more spherical, because it collects cholesterol from
cells and tissues before depositing it in the liver for be tried “. The study on cholesterol and almonds
Specifically, to conduct this study, the researchers
recruited a group of 48 subjects, men and women, with high levels
of LDL cholesterol. Participants were then asked to follow two
different types of diets for 6 weeks, in two different periods. In both
periods, their diets were identical except for the daily snack: in
one it was almonds, while in the other a muffin. In the almond diet
, participants received 43 g – about a handful – of almonds
per day. During the control period, however, they received a
banana muffin. At the end of each diet period, the researchers measured
each participant’s HDL cholesterol levels and function. The
researchers then compared the results with the baseline measures
participants taken at the start of the study. It was found that, compared
to the control diet, the almond diet increased HDL
α-1 by 19% – that is, when the particles are at their largest size and the
most mature phase. Additionally, the almond diet improved
HDL function by 6.4%. Risk of cardiovascular disease is reduced
“We were able to show that there are more larger
particles in response to consuming almonds than not
consuming them,” Kris-Etherton emphasized. This could mean that
smaller particles are doing their thing. duty, that is, they are going into the
tissues to pull away the cholesterol, getting bigger and bigger and taking
that cholesterol into the liver to remove it from the body ». An increase in this
particular HDL subpopulation is significant, Professor
Kris-Etherton noted, because the particles have been shown to reduce the
overall risk of cardiovascular disease. Almonds, a healthy snack against cholesterol
The researchers also pointed out that while almonds do not in themselves eliminate the risk of heart disease, they can be a smart choice for a healthy snack. Also because, in addition to the benefits for the heart, almonds also provide a dose of good fats, vitamin E and fiber, recall the authors of the study. “If people include almonds in their diet, they should expect several benefits, including those that can improve heart health,” Kris-Etherton concluded. instead of a food of low nutritional value, they are a great complement to an already healthy diet ». The study was supported by the Almond Board of California.
SEE ALSO: Cholesterol: the new guidelines. Three things to know.
Photo credit: pixabay – Monfocus

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