Eating about one-third a cup of almonds a day — either entirely or combined with about one-fourth cup of blue chocolate and 2 1/3 tablespoons of cocoa a day — may reduce a risk gene for coronary thrombosis heart disease, according to a raw report .
The sketch, published Wednesday in the Journal of the American Heart Association ( link opens in new window ), found that combining raw almonds, blue chocolate and cocoa significantly reduced the number of low-density lipoprotein, or LDL, particles in the lineage of fleshy and corpulent people. LDL is often called “ bad cholesterol ” because of the role it plays in clogging arteries .
As was the casing in by studies, the key lies in how much you eat, said the learn ’ s run author Penny Kris-Etherton, Ph.D., a Penn State University distinguished professor of nutrition.
“ It ’ s important to put this into context : The message is not that people should go out and eat a fortune of cocoa and almonds to lower their LDL, ” she said. “ People are allowed to have approximately 270 discretionary calories a day, and when foods like almonds, blue chocolate and cocoa are consumed in concert as a discretionary food, they confer health benefits unlike other discretionary foods such as frost donuts. ”
past studies have shown health benefits from eating moderate amounts of almonds, dark chocolate and unsweetened cocoa. The new study sought to see whether combining those three foods had a positive effect on the heart health of fleshy and corpulent individuals .
Researchers studied 31 participants ages 30 to 70. For one month, participants didn ’ metric ton eat any of the foods in the sketch. In the future one-month period, participants ate 42.5 grams of almonds a day ; in the third base menstruation, they ate 43 grams of benighted cocoa combined with 18 grams of cocoa powder ; in a fourth period, they ate all three foods .
The study showed almonds eaten alone lowered LDL cholesterol by 7 percentage compared with the period when participants didn ’ triiodothyronine eat any of the learn foods. Combining almonds with dark cocoa and cocoa besides reduced modest, dense LDL particles that are a risk divisor for cardiovascular disease, Kris-Etherton said .
Alice H. Lichtenstein, D.Sc., Gershoff professor at Tufts University and director of the school ’ s Cardiovascular Nutrition Laboratory, said it ’ s important to note that participants ate the almonds in topographic point of dairy fatten as part of a healthy diet.
“ This was a very well controlled study that demonstrated replacing saturated fat coming from dairy fat ( butter and cheese ) with unsaturated fat coming from nuts ( almonds ) had a cocksure effect on plasma lipid concentrations, ” said Lichtenstein, who wasn ’ t involved in the study .
Kris-Etherton agreed that when it comes to fats, almonds are a much better choice than butter and cheese .
“ That ’ s intelligibly an authoritative message here, ” she said. “ Almonds can be part of a healthy diet. ”
Eating dark chocolate and cocoa alone didn ’ t appear to have a major effect on affection health, she said. “ Chocolate doesn ’ thymine increase cholesterol levels, but it doesn ’ thymine decrease cholesterol levels either. ”
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still, cocoa — a major ingredient in chocolate — may prove to be the future frontier in health research, according to Kris-Etherton. a 2014 study published in The american Journal of Clinical Nutrition ( link opens in new window ) showed eating cocoa flavanols was associated with reduce age-related cognitive dysfunction. Researchers at Brigham and Women ’ second Hospital in Boston are presently studying ( connection opens in raw window ) 18,000 american english men and women to see if daily supplements of cocoa flavanols reduce the hazard of heart disease, stroke and cancer .
“ Cocoa is a plant food with a lot of bioactive components, ” Kris-Etherton said. “ There might be benefits we don ’ t even know about … and it ’ s delightful even without carbohydrate. I would love to see healthy ways to eat cocoa becoming mainstream. ”
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