The Snack That Will Shrink Your Waistline

What is not to love about this snack? You can get them almost anywhere, they are munch, crunchy and ultra portable. Not to mention we absolutely adore the taste! A recent study published in Journal of the American Heart Association gives us even more to love about almonds! In the study two groups of participants who had high LDL levels (bad cholesterol) followed a healthy diet for 12 weeks. During the first 6 weeks, one group was given 1.5 ounce portion of almonds for a snack while the other had a carb heavy muffin. The groups switched snacks for the second 6 weeks but otherwise kept their diet the same. The researchers found that when the groups snacked on almonds instead of the muffin, they reduced both their LDL and total cholesterol levels. Eating the almonds actually raised their levels of HDL (good cholesterol) while eating the muffin reduced it. Overall body weight didn't change for the participants when they were snacking on almonds, but their belly fat and waist circumference went down. The most fascinating part? The muffin and the portion of almonds contained nearly the same number of calories (273 and 253, respectively) the rest of the diet was the same as well. This all supports the argument that it is the quality of the calorie, not the quantity. Almonds are full of protein, fiber and vitamin E (lower quantities of each in the muffin), and that likely played a part in the study's results. Next time you're looking for a snack, reach for some almonds!

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