More good news on the health benefits of almonds

NEW ORLEANS, APRIL 20 Six studies presented this week at the 2002 Experimental Biology (EB) conference add provocative details to the growing body of research supporting more reasons to eat almonds.

The studies continue to strengthen what we know about the role of almonds in lowering "bad" cholesterol to help reduce the risk of heart disease and in protecting against cell damage. And one study suggests for the first time that we may want to change our mindset about how we think about the fat in almondsits possible that not all of the fat in almonds is absorbed. The studies indicate:

Eating a handful of almonds a day as part of a healthful lifestyle may lower "bad" cholesterol levels and help reduce risk of heart disease. One of the studies presented is a first-of-a-kind analysis of several existing almond studies. The analysis of the body of studies as a whole showed resounding results of almonds ability to lower total and LDL or "bad" cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease. The study consistently showed that people who eat roughly one handful of almonds (1 ounce) a day may significantly reduce total and LDL cholesterol.

"For every 1 percent drop in cholesterol, there is a 2 percent drop in the risk of heart disease," said Dr. Victor Fulgoni, who conducted the analysis. This means that if an individual has a cholesterol level of 200 milligrams per deciliter or higher, which about 102.3 million Americans have53.8 million adult women and 48.2 million adult men, that he or she may lower their cholesterol level to 190 milligrams per deciliter by eating almonds as part of an overall healthful diet and may lower their risk of developing heart disease by 10 percent.

Another clinical trial conducted at the University of Toronto suggested similar effects from almonds. The study showed that men and women who ate about one ounce or a handful of almonds each day lowered their LDL cholesterol by nearly 3

Contact: Carrie Kundrat, MS, RD
Porter Novelli

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