Almonds, Monounsaturated Fat, and Heart Health

Lisa Nelson, RD, LN Health Pro
  • In previous posts we've covered the health benefits of a couple different nuts:

     

    Heart-Smart Pistachios
    Walnuts Equal Healthier Blood Vessels

     

    Nuts are an excellent source of nutrients that provide heart health benefits, such as fiber, protein, and certain minerals.

     

    Let's turn our attention to almonds.

     

    Almonds are a good source of monounsaturated fat. This is a heart healthy fat in that it does not cause an insulin response or lead to increases in blood cholesterol. A study has shown a decrease in cholesterol levels, including LDL cholesterol, when almonds are consumed as a regular part of the diet.

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    Almonds also provide vitamin E in the form of gamma tocopherol and glutathione. Both of these nutrients act as antioxidants to prevent cellular damage associated with free radicals.

     

    Almonds also contain calcium to support bone and tooth health, along with healthy blood pressure levels.

     

    A one-ounce, 164-calorie serving of almonds, not only provides vitamin E, monounsaturated fats, and calcium, but also magnesium, fiber, protein, potassium, phosphorus, and iron.

     

    Add Almonds to Your Diet

     

    Here are a few tips for adding almonds to your diet:

     

    1. Eat a handful as a snack
    2. Add them to cereal at breakfast
    3. Add to salads
    4. Add as a garnish to entrees
    5. Add into trail mix

     

    While nuts, including almonds, provide many desirable nutrients for health they are also high calorie. You want to be careful that you indulge in a small serving or two of nuts everyday and don't go overboard. Too much may lead to an expanding waistline. On the flip side, the monounsaturated fat in almonds provides for high levels of satiety, meaning your appetite is satisfied and you are less likely to overeat.

     

    Almonds are just one addition you can make to your diet to promote lower cholesterol levels. To learn more register for the free e-course How to Lower Cholesterol in 8 Simple Steps at http://lowercholesterolwithlisa.com.

Published On: February 23, 2012