Let the cholesterol education efforts begin! September kicks off National Cholesterol Education Month, a time dedicated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to encourage Americans to get their blood cholesterol checked and to take steps to lower it if it is high.
Numerous studies have shown the delicious benefit almonds may provide in helping Americans maintain healthy blood cholesterol levels and reduce risk of heart disease, and a recently published paper funded by the Almond Board summarizes these findings, just in time for this important month.
The new systematic review and meta-analysis published in the Journal of Nutritional Science1 found that eating almonds results in significant reductions in total cholesterol, “bad” LDL-cholesterol and triglycerides, while having no significant impact on “good” HDL-cholesterol levels. Across the studies examined, average daily consumption of almonds ranged from 20 to 113 grams (about ¾ ounce to 4 ounces) per day, and the consumption period ranged from 4 to 18 weeks. The analysis was based on 18 published randomized controlled trials with a total of 837 participants.
Beyond blood lipids, researchers also found significant reductions in body weight among those in the almond interventions, relative to the control in three of the studies analyzed, which are consistent with findings of other studies.
This meta-analysis supports the recommendation that maintaining a healthy weight, along with eating a healthy diet that includes almonds, are lifestyle factors that may benefit heart health.
Full results of the study are detailed in our press release. Crunch on!
1Musa-Veloso K, Paulionis L, Poon T, Lee HL. The effects of almond consumption on fasting blood lipid levels: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Journal of Nutrition Science 2016; 5(e34):1-15.