More evidence to suggest that nuts are beneficial to our hearts arrived this week when scientists in Canada published the findings of a new study. According to their work, in order to maintain a healthy heart we should incorporate almonds into our diets.
The study reconfirms a growing body of research that almonds may lower 'bad' cholesterol levels and help reduce risk of heart disease.
A clinical trial conducted at the University of Toronto found that women and men who ate about one ounce (or a handful) of almonds each day lowered their LDL cholesterol by 4.4 per cent from baseline. The study showed an even greater decrease of 9.4 per cent in LDL cholesterol in those who ate about two handfuls of almonds a day, indicating that almonds' effect increases with increased consumption. The study also found that all of the people in the study, both those who ate only ounce servings and those who ate more, maintained their weight.
"We found that almonds reduce coronary heart disease risk factors in a dose-dependent manner and may be used as healthy snacks without weight gain," said Dr David Jenkins, who conducted the analysis.
According to Dr Jenkins, almonds are a good source of vegetable protein, "and the combination of monounsaturates with some polyunsaturates in nuts is an ideal combination of fats, all of which may have a beneficial effect on blood cholesterol".
Full findings of the study are published in the September 10 issue of the American Heart Association's publication Circulation.