In our quest for healthy foods, we recently found many studies that show almonds improve cardio vascular health and help with weight loss. LDL cholesterol (the bad type) has been shown to be reduced by eating almonds and almond butter. One study even found that eating almond butter increased HDL (the good kind of cholesterol for your heart).
Nine different studies have shown that eating almonds reduces LDL cholesterol. The Journal of the American Medical Association reported that eating almonds worked substantially better than eating a whole grain low fat diet in lowering LDL cholesterol and the same or better than most Statin drugs, such as Lovastatin. A study published by the Journal of the American College of Nutrition in 1998 compared subjects who ate an almond diet with those who ate an olive oil diet and others that ate a cheese and butter based control diet and found that the LDL cholesterol was reduced significantly in the almond eating group. The cholesterol levels increased in the control diet group and remained the same in the olive oil diet group.
Almonds are rich in vitamin E, B17, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, zinc, calcium, and folic acid. An ounce of almonds (approximately 20-25 nuts) contains as much calcium as ¼ cup of milk, 6 grams of protein, and 3 grams of fiber. The fat content of almond butter makes it a high calorie food, yet studies show that almonds support weight loss when added to a low calorie diet. A study published in the International Journal of Obesity and Related Metabolic Disorders found that adding almonds to a low calorie diet can help overweight people lose weight faster and another study showed that adults who ate an additional 300 calories in nuts every day to what they were already eating had no increase in their weight over 10 weeks. The high fiber content in almonds appears to help block the absorption of fat and carbohydrates and create a feeling of fullness, which may the reason behind their cholesterol lowering and weight- maintenance attributes.
We have added almonds to our diet and have been eating the nuts after soaking them in water overnight to soften them, by the spoon full as almond butter, and in the form of almond meal mixed with maple syrup. Any way we eat them, we find them extremely filling and satisfying. Let us know what you think about the benefits of eating almonds.