What's the healthiest snack you can eat - and one that has been proven to help reduce your risk of heart disease?
New research suggests the very best food you can nibble on between meals - and especially after a meal - is the almond nut.
Even a modest daily intake of no more than 73 grams - or around three ounces - can dramatically reduce 'bad' LDL cholesterol levels, it can lower the body's insulin output, and it may even help with gut health.
These good effects can be seen after just four months of eating almonds every day, new research has discovered. Although the health-giving effects of almonds have been known for some time, the new research underpins just how good almonds can be for us.
Two new studies, presented to the Experimental Biology conference, discovered that eating almonds every day reduced LDL cholesterol levels by 24 per cent, while three further studies have shown that almonds can reduce the body's production of insulin, especially if the nuts are eaten immediately after a meal.
(Source: Townsend Letter, 2008; 305: 24).