A recent research showed that trans fats are more detrimental to the heart than saturated fats, that they lower good cholesterol and raise bad cholesterol and that they impair dilation of blood vessels. The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends reducing trans fat and saturated fat intake, and one way to do that is by substituting with sources of unsaturated fat such as almonds. However, cutting down trans fat and saturated fats and eating almonds, which are rich in unsaturated fats, could help lower cholesterol level. "Clinical and epidemiological evidence show that almonds may lower cholesterol levels when consumed as part of a heart-healthy diet," says Dr. Karen Lapsley, director of scientific affairs for the Almond Board of California. "It may be that the monounsaturated fat in almonds, along with vitamin E and other essential nutrients, exerts this health effect on the cardiovascular system." In October 2000, the AHA issued dietary guidelines that encourage substituting saturated with unsaturated fat, the predominant fat found in almonds. Almonds can be easily used as an ingredient or consumed as a snack. They bring crunch and flavour to cereal, appetizers, side dishes and main courses. Almonds supply calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, folate, zinc and dietary fibre and are an excellent source of vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant.