In a study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association it was shown that the complete introduction into a normal healthy diet of almonds, dark chocolate and cocoa can help reduce the risk factors for coronary heart disease.
The researchers found that taking almost a third of a cup of almonds a day – alone or in combination with almost a quarter cup of dark chocolate and just over 2 tablespoons of cocoa a day – improves the rate of lipids / lipoproteins, compared to the average American diet without almonds and chocolate.
This diet led to a significant reduction in LDL cholesterol.
It is important that the population is allowed to have about 270 discretional calories a day along with foods such as almonds, dark chocolate and cocoa in such a way as to confer health benefits unlike other discretionary foods such as foods rich in saturated fatty acids and unsaturated fatty acids, polyphenols and flavonoids.
The study involved 31 adults who took combined or isolated dark chocolate, cocoa and almonds with final evaluation of lipid, lipoprotein and apolipoprotein concentrations: patients were overweight or obese and with total cholesterol and high LDL (TC , 210.0 mg / dL) (138.3 mg / dL) but with good general health conditions.
In this study, the participants consumed each of the four weight maintenance diets:
No “treatment” food (average American diet).
Almonds 42.5 g / day (almond based diet).
18 g / day of cocoa powder and 43 g / day of dark chocolate (chocolate diet).
Almonds, cocoa powder and dark chocolate (chocolate / almond diet).
The diets were similar, except for the presence or absence of these treatment foods, which explained the main differences in the nutritional profile. Each diet period lasted for 4 weeks, followed by a 2-week compliance break.
Compared to the average American diet, after the almond diet the values of CT, HDL, and LDL were reduced by 4%, 5% and 7%, respectively.
The double chocolate and almond diet has reduced apolipoprotein B by 5% compared to the average American diet.
The values of LDL were more influenced by the introduction of the combination of almonds and dark chocolate in the diet.
The researchers point out that these results are specific to the population of overweight, overweight and obese overweight adult patients with high levels of CT and LDL.
According to the researchers, this very well controlled study showed that the substitution of saturated fats from animal fats (such as butter and cheese) with unsaturated fats from nuts (such as almonds) had a positive effect on the plasma concentrations of lipids.