Awesome Almonds

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Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) are disorders of the heart and blood vessels. According to
World Health Organization (WHO) CVDs are the leading cause of deaths globally. More
people die annually from CVDs than from any other cause. About 17.9 million people died
from CVDs in 2016, which accounts for 31% of all global deaths. Of these deaths, 85% are
due to heart attack and stroke

Lifestyle modification and heart health
Indians because of their genetics make up are at a higher risk of getting heart diseases as
established in many epidemiological studies . Lifestyle modification plays an important
role in the prevention of CVD and its risk factors.

Diet is one part of lifestyle modification which can help or manage abnormal lipid profile
which is one of the risk factors of CVDs. The diet alteration strategy should aim at mainly,
reducing saturated fats in the diet, reducing low density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C l)
levels and increasing high density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) levels in blood.

Almonds and their effect on CVDs have been a subject of lot of research in recent times.
They seem to have a positive effect on heart health and therefore they can be part of the
diet modification strategy.

Almond composition
Almonds are nuts loaded with nutrients. They contain fats, proteins and carbohydrates.
Almonds are also a good source of many minerals for example calcium, magnesium,
phosphorous and potassium. Almonds provide vitamin E which is a potent anti-oxidant.
Almond skin also has flavonoids which have anti-oxidant property.

Almonds are rich sources of mono- and polyunsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs and PUFAs). A
portion of 100 g of almonds contain around 50 g of healthy fats, most of which (40 g) are
MUFAs and PUFAs, along with 4 g of saturated fats. Almond flavonoids and vitamin E
have antioxidant activity and may help to prevent oxidation of LDL-C the bad cholesterol
which is a contributing factor of CVDs.

Almond consumption and effect on lipid profile
There is evidence from several clinical studies that almonds have been shown to reduce LDL-
C, which is a risk factor for coronary heart disease. Research has be conducted to study the
effect of almonds on HDL-C, the good cholesterol, and it was found that almonds have
helped maintain or sometimes even increase HDL-C levels.

Almonds and dyslipidemia
Dyslipidemia is one of the most important risk factors of CVDs.  Dyslipidemia is elevated
levels of total cholesterol or LDL-C levels and a low HDL-C levels. Having almonds daily
(about 45 grams) everyday can help reduce dyslipedemia in Indians. Incorporating almonds
in the diet is a safe way of tackling dyslipidemia.

Almonds about 40 grams a day may also have the ability to reduce central adiposity along
with non‐HDL‐C, LDL‐C while maintaining HDL‐C concentrations.

The time when almonds are eaten also has an effect on the body. If they are eaten as a
snack in between meals instead of a high carbohydrate snack which has same calorific value
they are more effective in improving lipid profile rather than consuming almonds just before
the meal.

Almonds in our diet
With all the evidence pointing to the fact that almonds are good for our heart it would be a
good idea to have a fistful of almonds everyday as a snack in between meals. Ensure that
almonds are part of your balanced diet.

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