Posted on May 24, 2010, 6 a.m.
New research has shown that eating a small bag of nuts each day can help to lower levels of so-called "bad" LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, both of which are linked to heart disease.
Eating a small portion of nuts each day may help to lower the risk of heart disease by reducing LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels. John Sabate and colleagues at Loma Linda University (US) studied results of 25 nut consumption trials involving 583 men and women with normal and high cholesterol levels. No participants were taking lipid-lowering medications. Results showed that daily consumption of a small bag (67g) of nuts reduced total cholesterol by 5.1% and LDL cholesterol by 7.4%. Eating nuts was also found to reduce triglyceride levels by 10.2% in participants with blood triglyceride levels of at least 150 mg/dL, but not in those with lower levels. The benefits of nut consumption were greatest in those with high baseline LDL cholesterol levels and a low body mass index (BMI). Why nuts should help to lower cholesterol levels is unclear, however it is thought that the plant sterols present in nuts interfere with cholesterol absorption. The authors concluded: "Nut consumption improves blood lipid levels in a dose-related manner, particularly among subjects with higher LDL-cholesterol or with lower BMI."
Joan Sabaté,Keiji Oda, Emilio Ros. Nut Consumption and Blood Lipid Levels. Arch Intern Med. 2010;170:821-827.