The single most important step you can take for heart health starts with what you put on your plate
Rx Effect: Reduce LDL and fatal arrhythmias
The Evidence: “You don’t have to be miserable to bring your cholesterol down,” says David Jenkins, MD, PhD, professor of medicine and nutritional sciences at the University of Toronto. The plant sterols in almonds reduce the absorption of cholesterol from the diet, while the unsaturated oils encourage the liver to make less LDL and more “good” HDL. When Dr. Jenkins gave patients a vegetarian diet including almonds (along with other cholesterol-lowering foods, such as lentils, eggplant, and soy) for a month, he found LDL reductions of 28.6%—comparable to those on 20 mg of lovastatin (Mevacor). Just 22 almonds a day will do. Another study found major declines in fatal arrhythmias with 2 servings of nuts a week.
Try: Don’t limit yourself to almonds. Walnuts, pistachios, and peanuts are also great.