Several preventive strategies to reduce dyslipidemia have been suggested, of which dietary modification features as an important one. Dyslipidemia is a major risk factor for coronary heart disease and strategies to manage dyslipidemia have been shown to reduce the incidence of cardiovascular disease (CVD). Although there are proven pharmacological therapies to help manage this condition, nutritional interventions are a safer option to help prevent and manage dyslipidemia. Addition of almonds in the daily diet has been proposed to beneficially impact the lipid profile. This review critically examines the available evidence assessing the effect of almonds on dyslipidemia in the South Asian (particularly Indian) context. An extensive review comprised of epidemiological studies, clinical trials, meta-analyses, and systematic reviews was conducted from published literature from across the world. Studies examining the effect of almonds on different aspects of dyslipidemia viz. high low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (LDL-C), low high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (HDL-C), triglyceridaemia, and high total cholesterol levels have been included. In several studies, almonds have been shown to reduce LDL-C-which is a known risk factor for CHD-and the effect of almonds has been well documented in systematic reviews and meta-analysis of clinical trials. Addition of almonds in the diet has been shown to not only to reduce LDL-C levels, but also to maintain HDL-C levels. This review provides information about the use of this simple nutritional strategy which may help manage known major risk factors for heart disease, such as high LDL-C and low HDL-C levels especially in the context of South Asians.
Keywords: almonds; cardiovascular disease; dyslipidemia cholesterol; heart disease; high density lipoprotein; lipids; low density lipoprotein; nuts.