Can eating almonds raise ‘good’ cholesterol?

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Eating almonds regularly may boost levels of HDL cholesterol, so-called “good cholesterol,” while also helping the body to eliminate cholesterol, a small study suggests.

In the study, researchers compared the levels and role of high-density lipoprotein (HDL cholesterol) in people who ate almonds daily to the HDL levels and use of the same group of individuals 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, professor of nutrition at Penn State, says the study, which appears in the Journal of Nutrition, builds on previous research on the effects of almonds on cholesterol-lowering diets.

“There’s 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 heart disease,” Kris-Etherton states. “But much less was known about how almonds influence HDL cholesterol, which is deemed good cholesterol and helps reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease.”

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