With an estimated 17.9 million fatalities each year, 32% of all global deaths and, according to the Italian Society for Cardiovascular Prevention (Siprec), more than 230,000 in Italy, cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death globally and in our country. “However, every year on September 29, World Heart Day reminds us that we are not defenseless against this serial killer – says dietician Ambra Morelli – since 80% of premature deaths could be avoided by limiting risk factors related to the style of life, such as smoking, improper diet and physical inactivity. Few targeted changes could make a big difference ”. According to the expert, a clever “trick” to make a daily contribution to the health of your heart is to choose the right snack: “Almonds – explains Morelli – are well suited to food plans that are attentive to the heart. A handful of 30 grams (about 23 almonds) is not only a crunchy and tasty snack, but it contains several heart-healthy nutrients: fiber (4 grams), magnesium (81 mg), potassium (220 mg) and is rich in vitamin E (7.7 g) “. A scientific study – reads a note from the Almond Board California – has shown that, in a diet to control cholesterol, the choice of an almond snack instead of a snack rich in carbohydrates even with the same calories can increase the most favorable fraction of cholesterol, HDL, the so-called good cholesterol, and improve its ability to remove the excess of the most harmful fraction, known as bad cholesterol. many people tend to shed fat. But fats are structural components of our cell membranes and are also a source of energy. We need fats in our diet, but there are some types of fats we should limit, such as saturated fats, while we should prefer unsaturated fats. A diet high in unsaturated fats, found in foods such as extra virgin olive oil, oily fish, nuts such as almonds, sesame seeds and avocados, is associated with a reduced risk of heart disease. A portion of almonds (30 g) contains 15 grams of fat, of which 14 grams are “good” unsaturated fats, which represent a valuable contribution to our daily diet. In addition, almonds contain linoleic acid, a fatty acid that contributes to the maintenance of normal blood cholesterol levels. In addition to making healthy dietary choices, it is also important to consider mental stress levels. Mental stress is among the psychosocial factors believed to contribute to the risk of cardiovascular disease. Many people use different relaxation techniques to keep stress at bay. But food could potentially help too. A recent study found better measures of heart rate variability (HRV) in participants undergoing mental stress challenges who ate almonds instead of typical snacks over a six-week period. Heart rate variability is an important indicator of the cardiovascular system’s response to stress. A higher HRV represents greater adaptability of the heart in response to environmental and psychological challenges, while a lower HRV is linked to cardiovascular disease and sudden cardiac death.For decades, researchers have studied how almond consumption can promote heart health. , from their role in helping maintain normal cholesterol levels (a key factor in a healthy heart) to many other aspects. According to recently published research, snacking on almonds has improved endothelial function, which is a key indicator of vascular health. Furthermore, consuming almonds instead of a classic snack also lowered “bad” LDL cholesterol. These findings are consistent with those of previous research. Indeed, a systematic review and meta-analysis found that eating almonds resulted in significant reductions in total cholesterol, “bad” LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides, without having a significant impact on “good” HDL cholesterol levels.
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