WHY THIS MIX:
Adding almonds to your diet lowers your LDL cholesterol, or bad cholesterol, which is involved in creating plaques in your coronary arteries that can cause heart attacks. Almonds lower LDL in a dose-dependent manner. This means that by increasing the amount of almonds you eat, you can further lower your LDL. Clinical diet studies show almonds can also reduce your risk of insulin resistance and diabetes. Even if you have diabetes, adding almonds to your diet can improve your sensitivity to insulin.
number of studies have examined whether diets high in cashews can improve symptoms of metabolic syndrome. One study found that a diet containing 20% of calories from cashews improved blood pressure in people with metabolic syndrome. Another study noticed that cashews increased the antioxidant potential of the diet Interestingly, a few studies have shown that diets high in cashews may increase blood sugar in people with metabolic syndrome. Another larger study observed that a diet rich in cashews reduced blood pressure and increased levels of “good” HDL cholesterol. However, it had no significant effects on body weight or blood sugar levels.
Regularly consuming pumpkin seeds can have a powerful positive impact on your cholesterol levels. They contain a compound called phytosterol, which is very effective in lowering ldl-cholesterol levels. Phytosterols reduce your cholesterol levels by blocking the absorption of harmful cholesterol from your diet.
According to the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), increasing your daily intake of phytosterols from the average intake of 150 -400mg to 1.5 or 2.4 grams a day can lead to a reduction of ldl-cholesterol as significant as 7 to 10.5%. And there is more good news – the results of this effect can be seen within 2 – 3 weeks of changing your diet. Clinical trials conducted by the FDA confirmed this hypothesis and also proved that increasing your phytosterol intake reduces your risk of cardiovascular disease. With 94 – 265mg per 100g, pumpkin seeds are an excellent source of phytosterol.
The University of Wisconsin-Madison Health Services identifies raisins as a high-fiber fruit, providing 3.2 grams of fiber per half-cup serving. Raisins contain pectin, a type of soluble fiber that may lower LDL cholesterol. Soluble fiber reduces your bad cholesterol levels by binding with bile acids — acids composed of cholesterol — in your intestines and transporting them out of your body as waste.
Raisins contain polyphenols, a type of antioxidant that inhibits the production of toxic substances in your body. A 1-cup serving of this dried fruit provides 850 milligrams of polyphenols. These polyphenols assist in protecting the body against the absorption of LDL cholesterol, according to the University of Connecticut. When LDL is not absorbed into the blood stream, your body excretes it as waste.
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