There is currently a stigma around nuts that portrays them as an unhealthy snack because they are fatty and salty. However, when unsalted nuts are consumed in moderation on a regular basis, they can provide many benefits to the body. One of the best recently discovered health benefits that you can get from consuming nuts, is that nuts can help to lower cholesterol. In fact, according to a study by the FDA, consuming at least an ounce of nuts every day will not only lower your cholesterol, but consuming nuts on a regular basis can also reduce your risk of developing heart disease. There are three main nuts that when consumed in their raw unsalted form can cause a drop in cholesterol. These three nuts are walnuts, almonds and pecans.
Consuming walnuts can do wonders for the body. Walnuts contain the highest levels of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids are known to lower the levels of triglycerides in the bloodstream, and they can also help to slow the buildup of plaque in arteries. Also, a 2004 study on the effect of walnuts on cholesterol proved that eating walnuts on a regular basis can raise your good cholesterol and lower your bad cholesterol by 10 percent. This makes walnuts one of the best foods a person with high cholesterol can consume.
Almonds are another nut that can be helpful for people with high cholesterol. Almonds are high in protein, fiber, healthy fats, minerals and vitamin E; this makes them a beneficial snack to consume. Recent studies on their use in lowering cholesterol found that people who consumed just two handfuls of almonds on a daily basis lowered their bad LDL cholesterol by nearly 10 percent after just three months.
Pecans have been officially recognized by the FDA as a heart healthy food. This is due to the fact that pecans have a high content of unsaturated fats. This makes them great for your heart as well as your cholesterol. Tests to determine the exact effect of pecans on the body found the results to be staggering. People who consumed just an ounce of pecans a day lowered their bad cholesterol by 10 percent and raised their good cholesterol by 5 percent.
For people who have high cholesterol, or for people who want to protect themselves against heart disease, these three nuts can truly be considered super foods. The important thing to remember is that nuts should be consumed in moderation. While nuts can be a beneficial snack to your health, nuts are also a high calorie snack. Roughly 1-2 ounces of nuts each day will be enough to help lower your cholesterol without being considered overindulgent. Recent studies have shown that eating the proper cholesterol reducing foods can have the same effect on the body as taking cholesterol reducing medications. If your cholesterol is slightly higher than where you and your doctor would like it to be, consider consuming one of these three nuts on a regular basis in order to help improve your cholesterol.
A healthy diet is just the start in helping you lower your cholesterol. Medical Meals offers Heart Complete, a great tasting cholesterol fighting food that assist in reducing LDL cholesterol levels while increasing HDL cholesterol (“good” cholesterol), and helps lower blood pressure.