The Benefits of Almonds
Adding almonds to a healthful diet may help reduce cholesterol levels, says the American Heart Association (AHA). Adults who substituted about 2 ounces of almonds for other foods reduced their LDL ("bad") cholesterol by nearly 10 percent after one month. Adults who consumed fewer nuts also saw their cholesterol levels decline, researchers report in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association. Almonds are a good source of monounsaturated fat (10 grams per ounce) and contain very little saturated fat (1 gram per ounce). Moreover, as a plant-based food, almonds contain no cholesterol. Compounds found in almonds known as phytochemicals have been found to reduce the risk of heart disease. Adding nuts to a diet already sufficient in calories and fat could lead to weight gain, so be sure to reduce calories elsewhere.