Are you fond of almonds? If so, you’re lucky. A recent study has shown that almonds may increase good cholesterol or HDL levels while also improving the way the body eliminates cholesterol from the body.
In this study, researchers compared the levels and functioning of high-density lipoprotein (HDL cholesterol) in individuals who ate almonds every day, with the HDL phases and functions of the opposite group when they ate a muffin rather. The researchers determined that even as participants were on the almond diet, their HDL stages and functionality improved.
According to Penny Kris-Etherton, distinguished professor of nutrition at Penn State and author of the study which was published in the Journal of Nutrition, it was done based on earlier research about the effects of almonds on cholesterol-decreasing diets. “There’s a lot of research out there that shows a diet that includes almonds lowers low-density lipoprotein, or LDL cholesterol, which is a major risk factor for heart disease. But not as much was known about how almonds affect HDL cholesterol, which is considered good cholesterol and helps lower your risk of heart disease.”
The researchers wanted to find out if almonds could not only increase the levels but also enhance the performance of HDL cholesterol, which works by collecting cholesterol from tissues, like the arteries, and transporting it out of the body.
According to Kris-Etherton, “HDL is very small when it gets released into circulation. It’s like a garbage bag that slowly gets bigger and more spherical as it gathers cholesterol from cells and tissues before depositing them in the liver to be broken down.”
Depending on how much cholesterol it has accumulated, HDL cholesterol is then labeled into 5 “subpopulations,” which range from the very small to the higher, more mature types. The researchers hoped that consuming almonds would result in additional improved HDL functioning.
In this study, 48 males and females with increased LDL cholesterol participated in two six-week sessions. In each, their diets were equal besides the daily snack. On the almond diet, the seibjects obtained 43 grams or a few handful of almonds a day. Throughout the control interval, they had a banana muffin as an alternative.
On the end of each weight-reduction period, the researchers measured the levels and function of each participant’s HDL cholesterol. The researchers then compared the outcome to the participants’ baseline measurements which were taken on the start of the study.
The researchers observed that in comparison with the control diet, the almond program increased HDL levels when the particles are at their biggest size and most mature stage by19 percent. Moreover, the almond diet extended HDL performance by 6.4 percent, in those with normal weight.
Kris-Etherton commented, “We were able to show that there were larger particles in response to consuming the almonds compared to not consuming almonds. That would translate to the smaller particles doing what they’re supposed to be doing. They’re going to tissues and pulling out cholesterol, getting bigger, and taking that cholesterol to the liver for removal from the body.”