We love it when our listeners tell us about simple, easy ways to achieve health goals. That’s why we were pleased to learn about almonds to lower cholesterol and blood sugar. We were even more delighted-though not at all surprised-to find that there is good science to back this observation up.

Q. I told my doctor that almonds lowered my blood sugar and cholesterol. He saw the excellent lab results but doubted it could be due to almonds. Do you have any actual science I could show him?

 

Almonds to Lower Cholesterol

A. A study of 20 people with type 2 diabetes compared a standard cholesterol-lowering diet to the same diet with 2 oz. of almonds added to each daily portion (Metabolism, April, 2011). After a month, the people eating almonds had lower cholesterol and LDL cholesterol as well as lower levels of fasting insulin and blood sugar.

There are many other studies demonstrating benefits of including almonds in the diet. In one randomized, controlled trial, the participants had prediabetes. For four months, they followed an American Diabetes Association diet; half were randomly assigned to get 20 percent of their calories from almonds while the other half ate a nut-free diet. Those on the almond-enriched diet had lower LDL cholesterol and greater insulin sensitivity at the end of the study (Journal of the American College of Nutrition, June, 2010).

In another study, substituting 1.5 oz. of almonds for a high-carbohydrate snack every day reduced total and LDL cholesterol (Journal of the American Heart Association, Jan., 2015). Beneficial HDL cholesterol did not change. This diet also helped the volunteers reduce their waistlines.

Even people taking statins can lower their cholesterol further by adding 3 oz. (100 grams) of almonds to their daily diet (Journal of Clinical Lipidology, Jan-Feb, 2015).

Once you offer all this evidence, your doctor should start recommending that all his or her patients try munching on almonds to lower cholesterol. If they replace chips or cookies in the diet, there should be multiple benefits.

 

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  1. Maggie
    Reply

    My niece introduced me to start soaking my ‘nuts’, I know hahaha! She just told me how much better they are for me. She had most of all her bowels removed about 20y ears ago. For years she’s been trying to take care of herself nutritionally. She had issues with her digestion and with what she has left of her bowels!

    I decided to give it a try. Well, I’m here to tell you what a difference in my digestive system!!! I’d be so bloated and miserable and I couldn’t get my BS (blood sugar) down fast enough without it spiking hours later. I no longer need to take food enzymes anymore (some of the time they didn’t help me)!

    Now about My Diabetes! I’ve been insulin dependent since 2001. As the years went on eventually it got to be if I’d eat Mexican food or any high fat foods, even popcorn at the theater, I’d would find out 6-8 hours later my BS (blood sugar) would spike!!! And IT DOESN’T ANYMORE!!! My blood sugars have been great! I started noticing the difference after about 2 weeks, even some low blood sugars! My doctor is so impressed she said keep doing what I’m doing! My nutritionist said soaking the nuts are more beneficial than just eating them raw. They are WAY EASIER TO CHEW and taste wonderful too!!!

  2. Allison
    Dallas, Tx
    Reply

    what type almonds? Raw, blanched, dry roasted, etc?

  3. Mike
    Raleigh
    Reply

    About 1g/almond, so an ounce is typically about 28 almonds.

  4. penelope
    FL
    Reply

    The issue about water is interesting. Have you seen the comparison of how much water a pound of beef requires, compared to a pound of almonds? I forgot the numbers but it was incredibly small for the almonds.

  5. J. Hile
    Clare, MI
    Reply

    I love almonds but when I measured out 2 ounces it came to over 1/3 of a cup. Lot of calories as 1/4 cup has 170 calories. Does that seem like a lot? It does to me.

  6. Robyn
    Bechwood, NJ
    Reply

    Would drinking almond milk be as effective in lowering LDL cholesterol?

  7. Carol (VCD lady)
    Colorado
    Reply

    Due to California’s “mega” drought, it’s difficult to find organic almonds, that were grown in California. And, the cost of California organic almonds has sky-rocketed!

    We need other states (non-drought) to grow organic almonds, to make them
    affordable, again!

    I have tried Mexican organic almonds, but they seem drier than California organic almonds.

    What other non-drought-y states grow delicious organic almonds?

    Carol (VCD lady)

  8. Isabel
    N. California
    Reply

    I won’t eat almonds because they’re so water-thirsty (1 almond uses 1 gallon of water to produce), and we’re in a drought here in California. The almond growers suck up the water, then export much of the crop to China. Very sad.

  9. Linda
    St. Petersburg, FL
    Reply

    About how many almonds are there in 2 0z.?

    • Taz
      WI
      Reply

      About 50. Method: I filled a small plastic medicine cup (the kind that holds a bit more than a fluid oz.) with almonds. Filling it to the top (but not piled higher than the rim) – took 25 almonds. I then weighed it on a cheap postal scale and it weighed about one ounce. So two ounces would be about 50 almonds. The cup was also being weighed, so that affected the outcome a little, but I found it too difficult to stack the almonds on top of each other. ;-)

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