Almonds may help boost cholesterol clean-up crew

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Eating almonds on a regular basis may help boost levels of HDL cholesterol while simultaneously improving the way it removes cholesterol from the body, according to investigators.

In a study, researchers compared the levels and function of high-density lipoprotein (HDL cholesterol) in people who ate almonds daily, to the HDL levels and use of the same group of people when they ate a muffin instead. The researchers found that while participants were on the almond diet, their HDL levels and performance enhanced.

Penny Kris-Etherton, distinguished professor of nutrition at Penn State, said the analysis, published in the Journal of Nutrition, builds on previous research on the effects of almonds on cholesterol-lowering diets.

“There is a lot of research out there that shows a diet which contains almonds reduces low-density lipoprotein, or LDL cholesterol, which is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease,” Kris-Etherton stated. “But not as much was known about how almonds affect HDL cholesterol, which is considered good cholesterol and helps reduce your risk of heart disease.”

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