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An Almond a day, keeps a doctor away

 (Compiled by : Safreena Begum)

An amazing truth about Almonds,,,, We all had a view that, if we intake Almonds it increases the fat content in our body. But this is not true. Read the below information & enjoy eating almonds!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Specialty of Almonds

Super foods refer to items that have great performance and are packed with nutrients, like spinach and salmon. Almonds are another super food. Eating just a few almonds a day provides many benefits -- and they taste great, too.

Rich in Nutrients


Almonds are a great source of Vitamins B2 and E, magnesium, and zinc. Vitamin E has been shown to fight the free radicals that come from stress and, in particular, heart disease. Although they are fatty, most of an almond is considered “good fat”—that is, unsaturated, and therefore heart-healthy. Some studies even show that almonds reduce cholesterol.

In addition, almonds are a great source of protein and fiber. As a result, eating only a few almonds will make you feel relatively full. They are almost a complete source of nutrition. A recommended serving is 1/3 cup, which amounts to 306 calories. Some people advise filling a bag with the recommended serving and taking it along to eat throughout the day.

Almonds come in many palatable flavors, including smoked, honey-roasted, and frosted. While these are all great and offer the same health benefits, plain almonds are also delicious. Enjoy them with salads, baked goods, and a variety of other dishes. You might also consider trying almond butter, a highly recommended alternative to peanut butter, if you are trying to lose weight or generally improve your diet.

Almonds Could Help Lower Cholesterol   

Are you nuts about almonds?

Keep eating them, researchers say, because they might help lower cholesterol levels. Canadian researchers found that almonds significantly lowered bad cholesterol levels in a study of people with high cholesterol. The study, funded by The Almond Board of California and the Canadian government, is published in Monday's rapid access issue of Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

Although some previous research has suggested that eating nuts reduces the risk of coronary heart disease, nuts generally aren't recommended because of their high calorie content, according to the study.

Researchers from the University of Toronto studied 27 high cholesterol patients for three months. In the first month, each participant ate a full dose of almonds, averaging 74 grams a day. During the second month, they took a half dose of almonds, averaging 37 grams, which was described as a "handful" of almonds. In the last month, they ate a low-saturated fat, whole-wheat muffin as a daily snack.

They found that patients reduced LDL cholesterol -- or "bad" cholesterol -- levels an average 4.4 percent with the half portion of almonds and 9.4 percent with the full portion.

The patients' cholesterol levels did not significantly drop after the muffin phase.

Dr. David Jenkins, Canada research chairman in nutrition and metabolism at the university, said that practitioners should encourage patients to eat almonds as part of a healthy balanced diet as long as they are natural or "dry roasted" without added oils or salts.

Nuts do not have cholesterol and are a good source of protein, according to the American Heart Association. However, the association stresses that the potential benefits of nuts may be negated if they are added rather than substituted for other foods in the diet. While nuts and seeds tend to be very high in fat and calories, most of the fat is polyunsaturated or monounsaturated, such as in almonds, pecans, and walnuts.

Almonds have cholesterol benefits

Almonds significantly lowered bad cholesterol levels in a study of people with high cholesterol reported in a today’s rapid access issue.

Canadian researchers conducted the study, funded by The Almond Board of California and the Canadian government, to determine whether almonds can help reduce heart disease risk by lowering high cholesterol and at what consumption level.

Some previous research has suggested that nut consumption reduces the risk of coronary heart disease.  Because previous research has suggested that eating more nuts increases calories, nuts generally are not recommended for people who need to restrict calories.

Twenty-seven high cholesterol patients (15 men and 12 postmenopausal women, average age 64) completed the three-phase study.  Their average total cholesterol level was 260 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) at baseline.

Three one-month diets were undertaken.  For one month each participant ate a full dose of almonds (average 74 grams), which represented a little less that one quarter of their total daily caloric intake.  For one month they took a half dose of almonds (average 37 grams) – described as a “handful” of almonds.  In the last month, they ate a low-saturated fat, whole-wheat muffin as a daily snack.

The muffin snack served as the control diet because it had about the same amount of calories, protein and saturated and polyunsaturated fats, explains lead author David J.A. Jenkins, M.D., director at the Clinical Nutrition and Risk Factor Modification Center, St. Michael’s Hospital, Toronto.  The only difference was that the monounsaturated fat was swapped for the starch in the muffin, he says.  Jenkins is also Canada Research Chair in Nutrition and Metabolism at the University of Toronto.

Researchers measured cholesterol levels, blood pressure and weight in the subjects.  They found that patients reduced low-density lipoprotein (LDL – bad cholesterol) an average 4.4 percent with the half portion of almonds and 9.4 percent with the full portion.

 “We were quite impressed,” says Jenkins. “If you look at the ratio of LDL to HDL (high-density lipoprotein, the good cholesterol), the reduction was 7.8 percent for the half dose and 12 percent for the full dose by the fourth week.  That ratio is very important in assessing cardiovascular risk.”

The patients’ cholesterol levels did not significantly drop after the muffin phase.

Jenkins says that practitioners should encourage patients to eat almonds as part of a healthy balanced diet as long as they are natural or “dry roasted” without added oils or salts.

Nuts do not have cholesterol and are a good source of protein, according to the American Heart Association.  However, the association stresses that the potential benefits of nuts may be negated if they are added rather than substituted for other foods in the diet.  While nuts and seeds tend to be very high in fat and calories, most of the fat is polyunsaturated or monounsaturated (e.g. almonds, pecans, walnuts).

Participants in this study were carefully counseled on how to use nuts in place of other foods in the diet.

Almonds are a feel-good and good-for-you food

An ounce of almonds — about 24 nuts — can help you reach your daily vitamin E goal of 15 mg alpha-tocopherol.

Munching on almonds is a beneficial way to spend calories and fat. They offer an array of nutrients the body needs for peak function. At 164 calories per ounce - about the same number as 12 ounces of soda or one and a half ounces of pretzels, and approximately 50 calories less than a typical small order of fast food French fries - almonds fit the bill as a snack or meal ingredient that delivers a great package of nutrients.

In addition to being an excellent alpha-tocopherol source, almonds offer:

·  Monounsaturated fat (70 percent of almond's fat is monounsaturated)

·          Fiber

·         Protein

·          The minerals potassium, magnesium, calcium, iron and zinc

·          The B vitamins riboflavin, niacin and folate

·          Phytonutrients, beneficial plant substances that may be protective against chronic illness

And as always, almonds are cholesterol-free

To Conclude...." An Almond a day, keeps a doctor away"

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