Can a handful of almonds before breakfast improve HDL-C?

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  • A recent study suggests a low dose of almonds (10 g/d) consumed before breakfast can increase HDL cholesterol, in addition to improving other markers of lipid abnormality in CAD patients with low starting HDL cholesterol


  • Cohort of 150 CAD patients (50 per group), with serum LDL cholesterol ≤100 mg/dL and HDL cholesterol ≤40 mg/dL in men and ≤50 mg/dL in women
  • Patients randomly assigned to 1 of 3 groups: no-intervention (NI), Pakistani almonds (PA), and American almonds (AA)
  • Blood samples for lipid profiling, body weight, and blood pressure were collected, and assessment of dietary patterns was done at baseline, week 6, and week 12


  • Almonds significantly increased HDL cholesterol
  • At weeks 6 and 12, HDL cholesterol was 12-14% and 14-16% higher in the PA and AA groups vs baseline, respectively 
  • Serum concentrations of total cholesterol, triglycerides, LDL cholesterol, and VLDL cholesterol; total-to-HDL and LDL-to-HDL cholesterol ratios, and atherogenic index were reduced in both the PA and AA at weeks 6 and 12 compared with baseline (P<0.05)