08 July, 2011
Are Tamari Almonds Good for Cholesterol?
About 17 percent of Americans need to lower their blood cholesterol level, reports the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Regular exercise, cholesterol-lowering medications and dietary changes can help. Eating almonds -- including tamari almonds, which are dry-roasted with a coating of tamari, a wheat-free type of soy sauce -- may aid in lowering your cholesterol as long as they're part of a healthful diet.
Almonds May Lower Bad Cholesterol
In 2011, an article published in "Nutrition Reviews" reported that the bulk of modern scientific studies focusing on the effect tree nuts have on your LDL, or "bad," cholesterol show that consuming them regularly can decrease your LDL level by up to 19 percent. The authors singled almonds out as being particularly effective. They hypothesized that the high concentration of nutrients provided by almonds, such as potassium, magnesium, calcium and copper, may lower your ability to absorb cholesterol and increase the amount your body eliminates. Tamari almonds supply all of these nutrients.
Use Almonds to Fill Up on Fiber
Soluble fiber lowers blood cholesterol by binding to it in your digestive tract and inhibiting the amount you absorb. All almonds, including tamari almonds, provide both soluble and insoluble fiber. A 3-tablespoon serving of commercially available tamari almonds -- an amount equivalent to a 1-ounce serving, or 22 whole nuts -- contains 4 grams of dietary fiber. For a man between 19 and 30 years old, this would supply almost 12 percent of the recommended daily fiber intake. It would be 14 percent of a woman's advised intake per day.
Gauge the Effect of Sodium
If you're concerned about your sodium intake but still prefer your nuts with some saltiness, tamari almonds are a good compromise. Commercial brands contain approximately 65 milligrams of sodium per serving, only 3 percent of the 2,300-milligram limit advised for healthy adults and far less than the 186 milligrams supplied by regular salted almonds. In addition, moderate salt intake may help prevent your cholesterol from rising. A study published in the "American Journal of Hypertension" in 2012 found that lowering your intake of sodium caused blood cholesterol to rise by an average of 2.5 percent.
Moderate Your Intake
Even though tamari almonds contain nutrients that may benefit your cholesterol level, eating too many may have the opposite effect. Each 1-ounce serving of the almonds contains 160 calories. Snack on 2 ounces, and you'll already have consumed 16 percent of your daily calories if you're following a 2,000-calorie diet. Unless you're careful to regulate your overall calorie intake, eating tamari almonds may provide you with excess calories that can lead to weight gain and an increased risk of high blood cholesterol. For the most benefits, limit your intake to 1 to 1.5 ounces daily.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About High Blood Cholesterol
- The Kitchn: The Difference Between Tamari and Soy Sauce
- Eden Organic: Tamari Roasted Almonds, Organic - Bulk
- Nutrition Reviews: Effects of Almond Consumption on the Reduction of LDL-Cholesterol: A Discussion of Potential Mechanisms and Future Research Directions
- Harvard Health Publications: 11 Foods That Lower Cholesterol
- USDA National Nutrient Database: Nuts, Almonds, Dry Roasted, With Salt Added
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Carbohydrates
- American Journal of Hypertension: Effects of Low-Sodium Diet vs. High-Sodium Diet on Blood Pressure, Renin, Aldosterone, Catecholamines, Cholesterol and Triglyceride (Cochrane Review)
- NBC News: Go Nuts! A Handful a Day May Help You Live Longer, Docs Say
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