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The Health Benefits of Almonds

The Health Benefits of Almonds

Next time you're headed to the office vending machine, skip the chips and grab yourself a bag of almonds instead. Your heart will sing.

Besides the many health benefits of almonds –- including fiber, magnesium, polyphenols, and good-for-you monounsaturated fats (MUFAs) -- almonds may wrestle two known heart disease risks to the ground: insulin resistance and bad-for-you LDL cholesterol.

Heart-Lovin' Nuts
At least, that's what happened to people with prediabetes in one study. Eating just 2 ounces of almonds a day for 2 weeks helped with lowering LDL cholesterol and improving their insulin resistance -- two healthy changes that could halt the progression of prediabetes and protect the heart from the ravages of high cholesterol. But you don't have to have high blood sugar to enjoy the health benefits of almonds. Plenty of related findings suggest these nuts also help with lowering LDL cholesterol and inflammation in folks with normal blood sugar levels. Steady high blood sugar with these foods.

Trade Bad Fat for Good
Sound too good to be true? Well, here's the catch: Many findings suggest you'll get the most heart benefits from almonds and other nuts if you eat them in lieu of foods high in saturated fat, such as chips, fried fare, high-fat dairy, and red meat. (Related: Watch this video to learn your good fats from your bad fats.)

Nuts are terrific snacks, and you can work them into meals, as well. Whip up one or two of these tantalizing nut recipes:

Is there one nut that trumps all others for boosting heart health? Find the answer here.

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