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Almonds Help Eliminate ‘Bad Cholesterol’

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Almonds are known as a healthy, filling snack because of its high protein and fiber content. Now, researchers have found that almonds help boost good cholesterol, while relieving the body of bad cholesterol.

Researchers at Pennsylvania State University discovered that almonds have excellent anti-cholesterol benefits, Hindustan Times reports. Regularly consuming a handful of almonds raises a person’s levels of mature HDL, also called “good cholesterol,” which are linked to better cardiovascular health. In addition, almonds also help in transporting LDL, or bad cholesterol, to the liver for disposal.

Almonds are oleaginous fruit, and not true nuts. They are rich in magnesium and potassium, as well as protein and fiber. Ten almonds contain approximately 100 calories, making them ideal for snacking.

Past studies have shown the health benefits of almonds, including the capacity to reduce blood levels of bad cholesterol, which can increase a person’s risk for cardiovascular diseases.

The researchers monitored two groups of patients for a period of six weeks. One group ate 43 grams of almonds daily, which is around a big handful. The other group ate banana muffins. The team then measured levels and functioning of HDL cholesterol in each participant. They compared the results with blood counts they took at the beginning of the experiment.

Kris Etherton, study author, said, “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.” HDL particles grow bigger until they mature.

The study reported a 19% increase in HDL particles in the participants who ate the almonds. Also, the study participants who were of normal weight saw an improvement of 6.4% in their bodies’ ability to move excess cholesterol to the liver.

The study was published in the Journal of Nutrition.

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