Go Nuts for Heart Health
As if we need more reason to munch on a handful of tasty nuts, there is now evidence that eating them each day can help prevent heart disease by lowering cholesterol.
The study, published Monday in the American Medical Association’s Archives of Internal Medicine, showed that those who ate 67 grams (2.4 ounces) daily lowered their blood cholesterol by 5.1 percent, with a 7.4 percent drop in the specifically bad kind, low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, and a whopping 10.2 percent in triglyceride levels.
Nuts don’t seem to be discriminatory, either. Walnuts, almonds, whatever your nut of choice may be, the same cholesterol-lowering benefits were found. However, the results were greater in those who were not overweight, as people with lower BMIs showed a more significant reduction. On the flip side, those with higher LDL levels to begin with also showed a larger drop than those with healthier starting levels.
For those concerned about type 2 diabetes, nuts apparently help prevent that, too. Yet possibly the best news of all, for those who have sadly shunned nuts because of their high fat content, the frequent consumption of nuts, alone, won’t make you gain weight when eaten as part of an otherwise healthy diet.
“Research has shown that frequent nut consumption does not lead to weight gain,” said the study, as reported by the AFP via Yahoo! News. “Increasing the consumption of nuts as part of an otherwise prudent diet can be expected to favorably affect blood lipid levels … and have the potential to lower coronary heart disease risk.”
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