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Is Eating Nuts Healthy for Cholesterol?

Do not forget to put nuts on your salads, in your muesli or snack them. The nuts already have an excellent reputation. Their consumption would divide by 4 the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and improve fertility. A new study tells us that these oilseeds also help to reduce bad cholesterol and increase the good.

Dr. Joan Sabaté and colleagues at Loma Linda University, California, collected data from 25 studies in seven countries involving 583 men and women with either high cholesterol (without being treated with a drug ). These participants consumed an average of 67 grams of peanuts or nuts (walnuts, almonds or hazelnuts) per day.

As a result, their total cholesterol dropped an average of 5.1%. Better bad cholesterol, or LDL-cholesterol, decreased even more (-7.4%), as well as triglycerides (-10.2%, but only in those with high levels). In parallel with these decreases, the rate of good cholesterol, or HDL-cholesterol, increased by 8.3%.

These positive effects, interesting in the context of the desirable moderate decrease in cholesterol and cardiovascular risk factor are found among all the participants. However, these benefits are even more pronounced in people with high LDL-cholesterol, as well as in those with low BMI.

Admittedly, eating nuts is not a full-fledged remedy for high cholesterol, but can constitute a new food habit that is not very restrictive or even satisfactory (almonds, hazelnuts or walnuts decrease the feeling of hunger … ), which helps to reduce bad cholesterol, like the reduction in saturated fat consumption, increased intake of fiber and phytosterols.

Composition of peanuts and nuts

Eating nuts helps lower blood cholesterol levelsBoth peanuts and walnuts (as well as almonds, hazelnuts, macadamia, etc.) contain various compounds such as monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids, Vitamin E, fiber, antioxidants and other bioactive compounds, all known to be beneficial to cardiovascular health and cancer prevention, probably through their antioxidative and anti-inflammatory properties.

Nuts are rich in polyphenols, antioxidant chemical compounds that in the body counteract the effects of molecules that cause oxidation and damage cells.

Nuts and peanuts fats are monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats that are good fats without the harmful effects of saturated fats, the latter known to produce atheroma plaques that narrow the arteries.

The Omega-3 fatty acids in nuts also found in oily fish such as tuna and salmon, lower triglycerides. Omega-3 fatty acids are capable of slowing the growth of plaques in the arteries, preventing the increase of blood pressure, as well as prevent the formation of blood clots, responsible for cerebrovascular accidents among other serious conditions.

What are other  benefits of nuts?

Real appetite suppressants

Because you will have eaten a handful of walnuts before a meal, you will surely no longer want to take chocolate mousse twice for dessert. Rich in soluble fiber, nuts help to delay the feeling of hunger. Once in the stomach, soluble fiber dissolves in water to form a gel-like substance that makes you feel full for longer, which helps you eat fewer junk foods rich in trans fats that increase cholesterol.

Natural anti-aging ingredients

Eating a small portion of fresh walnuts (25 grams) amounts to covering at least 15% of our daily vitamin E, an anti-aging vitamin. Walnuts are also powerful antioxidants that decrease the damage caused by free radicals, especially responsible for aging skin.

Note: Consuming 25g of fresh walnuts as a snack at 11 o’clock, for example, takes part in the necessary intake of vitamin B, potassium, iron, copper, and zinc.

Nuts reduce the risk of breast cancer

Another reason not to do without nuts, even if one is on the diet: researchers at Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia, found (in a study conducted on mice) that daily consumption Of a few walnuts allowed not only to reduce the growth of cancer tumors already existing but also to reduce the number of tumors. For researchers, it is not only the unsaturated fatty acids of the walnuts that are beneficial but also their high content of vitamin E.

They help to be in good mood

Not only are the nuts rich in magnesium “antistress” but they are also rich in Omega 3. Nutritionists agree that omega-3s are very interesting in the management of mood swings and reducing the risk of depression.

How many nuts should we eat?

Although the consumption of nuts is advisable for health, we must take into account their high caloric content, so the key is to consume them in moderation, being limited to no more than 3 ounces per day. Additionally, experts warn that care should be taken with the consumption of nuts covered with sugar or salt.

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