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Almonds may help that tummy roll

Researchers found that participants who ate a diet containing almonds instead of a muffin as a snack, had lower total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, non-HDL cholesterol and VLDL- C (remnant lipoproteins).” Meanwhile, compared to those on the diet containing the muffin snack, those participants on the diet with the almond snack also had a significantly reduced central abdominal fat mass, leg fat mass and waist circumference. 


Evidence consistently shows that almond consumption beneficially affects lipids and lipoproteins. Almonds, however, have not been evaluated 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. 

In a randomized, 2‐period (6 week/period), crossover, controlled‐feeding study of 48 individuals with elevated LDL‐C (149±3 mg/dL), 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). Differences in the nutrient profiles of the control (58% CHO, 15% PRO, 26% total fat) and almond (51% CHO, 16% PRO, 32% total fat) diets were due to nutrients inherent to each snack; diets did not differ in saturated fat or cholesterol. The almond diet, compared with the control diet, decreased non‐HDL‐C (−6.9±2.4 mg/dL; P=0.01) and LDL‐C (−5.3±1.9 mg/dL; P=0.01); furthermore, the control diet decreased HDL‐C (−1.7±0.6 mg/dL; P<0.01). Almond consumption also reduced abdominal fat (−0.07±0.03 kg; P=0.02) and leg fat (−0.12±0.05 kg; P=0.02), 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 WithElevated LDL-Cholesterol: A Randomized Controlled Trial. J Am Heart Assoc. 2015 Jan 5;4(1). pii: e000993. doi: 10.1161/JAHA.114.000993.

Content updated January 2015


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