The body already produces cholesterol on its own; this vital fat is essential to the proper function of cell membranes. However, consuming foods and drinks high in cholesterol give the body more than it needs, which poses an increased risk for heart disease, stroke, and other ailments. The degree to which foods high in cholesterol raise blood cholesterol varies from person to person, but everyone can benefit from a balanced diet paired with daily exercise to maintain healthy levels. Some foods not only assist in lowering bad LDL cholesterol but also leave the good HDL cholesterol unaffected.
Rich in unsaturated fats, almonds work hard to raise healthy HDL cholesterol while lowering unhealthy LDL cholesterol. They also make LDL less likely to oxidize, which helps prevent build-ups in the arteries and restricted blood flow to the heart. When you snack on almonds, though, beware of their high calorie count.
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