Almonds and Heart Health Benefits
A new study from the University of Toronto suggests that eating a healthy diet, including almonds, reduces inflammation by about the same degree as taking a first-generation statin drug. The study, published this month in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, found that following a dietary portfolio that includes almonds not only lowers cholesterol levels but also C-reactive protein levels, a key marker of inflammation and an independent risk factor for heart disease.
In this study, 34 individuals followed a dietary plan, called the Portfolio Eating Plan, which included almonds. Those who followed the dietary plan lowered their C-reactive protein levels 24% from baseline, which is similar to the reduction achieved by taking a first-generation statin drug (16%) – without the side effects of taking the pills.
“Inflammation is likely to receive increasing attention as a marker of heart disease risk,” says Cyril Kendall, PhD (University of Toronto), author of the study. “To date there has been little research into the ability of diet to reduce inflammatory processes involved in heart disease. We now have a dietary strategy that may be used to not only reduce cholesterol but also inflammation.”
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