Nutrition: Study Finds Eating Nuts Helps Cholesterol
By Roni Caryn Rabin, May 17, 2010
Eating about two and a half airplane snacks’ worth of nuts every day helps lower total cholesterol and “bad” LDL cholesterol, and improves the ratio of total cholesterol to “good” HDL cholesterol, a study reports. Researchers pooled the results of 25 clinical trials that involved 583 participants over all. The study reported that eating just 2.4 ounces of nuts of any kind was associated with declines of 10.2 milligrams per deciliter in bad cholesterol, a drop of about 7.4 percent, and 10.9 milligrams in total cholesterol, or 5.1 percent. The study, which appeared in the May 10 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, was partly financed by a nut-industry foundation, and two of the authors receive research money from other organizations representing the nut and peanut industries. But the authors noted that some of the trials they analyzed had no corporate financing, yet came to similar conclusions. “Nuts are rich in unsaturated fats, and that is a main driver in lowering cholesterol,” said the lead author, Dr. Joan Sabaté, a professor of nutrition at the School of Public Health at Loma Linda University in California. “They are the richest source of protein in the plant kingdom, and they also contain fiber and phytosterols, which compete with cholesterol to be absorbed. All these nutrients have been demonstrated to lower cholesterol.” The effect was most pronounced among people with higher LDL cholesterol to begin with and among those who were not obese. The more nuts they ate, the greater the effect. See original story here.