London: Replacing popular snacks such as biscuits and crisps with almonds may be good for health. Almonds improve endothelial function, a key indicator of cardiovascular health, and lower ‘bad’ cholesterol. This has been said by researchers in a study. Coronavirus has proved it is deadly for people with cardiovascular and respiratory problems. Hence persons in this category should regularly consume almond.
The researchers took participants from the UK, who had above average cardiovascular disease risk. They consumed almonds or a calorie-matched control snack in the six-week trial. Researchers led by Wendy Hall from Kings College London in the UK compared cardio-metabolic health markers between the two groups.
The improvement in endothelial function and LDL-cholesterol levels proved that consumption of almonds was beneficial. The researchers said almonds have the potential to reduce adjusted relative cardiovascular disease risk by 32 per cent.
Beneficial for heart health
The ‘European Journal of Nutrition’ has carried a copy of the research study. It found people who eat almonds have a lower waist circumference and lower body mass index (BMI) than those who do not.
“This study shows that eating almonds in place of the typical snacks is beneficial for our heart health. It reduces levels of bad LDL-cholesterol and improving the health of our arteries,” Hall said.
“Based on existing data on risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD), we prescribe replacing typical snacks with almonds. In the long-term it would result in a 30 per cent reduction in chances of cardiovascular problems,” Hall added.
Healthy diet item
The researchers examined a four-day food diary from 6,802 adults. They found that adults who eat almonds have healthier diets. This is because they have higher intake of protein, total fat, vitamin C, fibre, potassium and other healthy supplements. They also had lower intakes of trans-fatty acids, total carbohydrate, sugar and sodium. Almond eaters also had a lower waist circumference by 2.1 cm and a lower BMI by 8 kilogramme per square metre.
Important to eat almonds
“Consumption of whole tree nuts such as almonds is an important part of a healthy diet. Our research using a large UK population database shows that intakes are low in adults. However, those who do report eating almonds are also more likely to consume healthier diets in general,” said Hall.
“The trials suggest that eating almonds can be both beneficial to those with an above average risk of cardiovascular disease. Also it will provide everyone with a better diet,” Hall asserted.