Looking for a natural way to reduce cholesterol? Changing your diet is the single best way to do so. Nuts in particular have repeatedly been shown to be great for reducing cholesterol, according to numerous studies that were reviewed by Loma Linda University. On average, eating a small bag of nuts (67 grams) each day could reduce cholesterol levels by 7.4%, according to the BBC.
The review of 25 studies, involving nearly 600 people, showed eating on average 67g of nuts - a small bag - a day reduced cholesterol levels by 7.4%.
The US Loma Linda University team believes nuts may help prevent the absorption of cholesterol.
UK experts said the research showed nuts were an important part of a healthy diet, but warned against eating nuts covered in sugar or salt.
Previous work has indicated eating nuts regularly is beneficial, but the Archives of Internal Medicine study set out to put an accurate figure on the effect.
The people involved ate 67g of nuts a day on average, over a period of three to eight weeks.
As well as improving cholesterol levels, it also reduced the amount of triglyceride, a type of blood fat that has been linked to heart disease.
However, the impact was least pronounced among the overweight.
It is not yet clear why nuts have this effect, although one suggestion is that it is down to the plant sterols they contain, which are thought to interfere with cholesterol absorption.
Lead researcher Joan Sabate said increasing nut consumption as part of a healthy diet should be recommended.
He added: "The effects of nut consumption were dose related, and different types of nuts had similar effects."
Ellen Mason, senior cardiac nurse at the British Heart Foundation, agreed, but she urged people to go for unsalted nuts.
"Apart from salted peanuts at the pub, nuts in sugary cereals or the traditional Christmas selection, nuts have been largely lacking in our diets in the UK," she added.
The study was carried out by independent researchers, although it was partly funded by the International Tree Nut Council Nutrition Research and Education Foundation.
For many years, nuts have gotten a bad rap for being high in fat. But in reality, nuts are a vital part of our diet, as they are high in monounsaturated fats that actually keep us heart-healthy and disease-free.
Healthy nuts are also great sources of protein, minerals and other life-enhancing nutrients. Scientific studies now show that different types of nuts and seeds can actually prevent heart disease, weight gain and the accumulation of LDL cholesterol.
All nuts should be organic, eaten in their raw state, and not irradiated or roasted. Here is my list of the five healthiest nuts you should add to your diet. (In no particular order)
A small handful of almonds gives you almost 25% percent of your daily needs for magnesium, and more bone-strengthening calcium as an equal amount of cow milk.
They are also high in many antioxidants, such as vitamin E and selenium. Studies show that almonds may play and important role in preventing colon cancer due to their high fiber content. Almonds also help us to actually lower negative forms of cholesterol in the blood stream.
One of the best nuts on earth, walnuts may actually increase our brain function. Studies show that consumption of walnuts is related to heart-health, better cognitive function, as well as the reduction of skin and bone conditions. Packed full of an antioxidant known as ellagic acid, researchers have shown that walnuts contain 16 disease-fighting polyphenols.
Recent clinical studies show that this nut significantly lowers cholesterol. Pecans are also a great source of twenty essential vitamins and minerals. Here’s a great source to buy organic pecans.
4. Brazil Nuts
Also high in heart-healthy nutrients and minerals like copper, niacin, vitamin E, fiber, magnesium, and selenium, studies on Brazil nuts show that this protein-packed snack may aid in the prevention of breast cancer.
5. Cedar Nuts
Siberian Cedar nuts, originating in Russia, hold 70% of the essential amino acids that the body needs. They also contain high amounts of Vitamin A, B and D, as well as% tocopherol-containing Vitamin E. This exotic nut also contains a special form of Vitamin P, a vital fatty acid similar to fish oil, which is known for reducing the amount of LDL cholesterol, keeping the arterial walls free of disease-causing inflammation and plaque.
Raw nuts are a big part of my diet and pack the most energy of any other food. They make a healthy snack that is low in calories. Healthy nuts are definitely a great addition to your diet