The Benefits of Nuts on Cholesterol


Like a number of other foods over the years, nuts like almonds, walnuts, and pistachios have been unfairly labeled as being unhealthy. Compared to other snack foods, nuts are a better choice given that along with their calories, they provide substances such as vitamin E, plant sterols, Omega-3 fatty acids, and fiber, to name just a few healthy benefits. One of the main factors in high blood cholesterol levels is the amount of Low Density Lipoproteins (LDL) transport particles in the blood. LDL particles bind to cholesterol and other fats in the body known as triglycerides. In excess, the LDL particles deposit the waxy substance of cholesterol, as well as the triglycerides, along the walls of the bloodstream arteries. Substances such as Omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, and plant sterols all aid in lowering the amount of LDL particles in the blood, and they increase the good transport particles known as High Density Lipoproteins (HDL). The following do's and don'ts will give you food for thought as to why you should include nuts as part of your dietary regime to manage high cholesterol.


low cholesterol nuts

DO Include nuts as part of a healthy diet?


Nuts contain aromatic monounsaturated oils that can go rancid over time, so it is always best to store all nuts in the refrigerator, sometimes even the freezer. There are nearly unlimited ways to include nuts in the daily routine. Try them as a soup topping, an addition to yogurt, a flavoring for vegetables, or with a salad. The possibilities are endless.


DO Limit the intake?


Just a handful of nuts a day, 1 to 1.5 ounces, is all that is required to provide you with a powerhouse of nutrients. Keep in mind that while nuts offer good benefits, there is a price tag of calories associated with all nuts. Unlike other snack foods, the calories consumed are not empty calories. There is a high return on this nutritional investment.


DO Know your nut?


There are such a myriad of nut meats available to consumers now, nearly a nut from every continent and then some. It is beneficial to really know what you are consuming when you eat certain nuts, such as what nutrients they contain, how much fat, and what kinds of fat. Some basic research will give you an idea.


DON'T Assume all nuts are the same?


Not all nuts are the same, and it would not be a good practice to swap one nut for another. Walnuts, as an example, are very high in Omega-3 fatty acids, while almonds are high in vitamin E. Pistachios have really become a rock star in relation to cholesterol management. Not only are pistachios one of the lower calorie choices for nuts, but they provide a huge amount of fiber for their size. In addition, pistachios in particular have shown to have a significant effect on the amount of LDL in the bloodstream.


DON'T Doctor or alter nuts?


Like many foods that get a negative association, nuts on their own are fine; it's what we do to the nuts that may make them calorie bombs. So, the suggestion to eat a handful of nuts does not mean a handful of chocolate covered almonds or highly salted pistachios.


DON'T Get into a nut rut?


It's very easy to fall into a food rut, eating the same thing over and over again until you can no longer enjoy the taste and texture of the food substance. Be certain to mix up your choice of nuts in various ways. Try a handful of walnuts with cheese one day, and some pistachios on a salad the next. This not only keeps nuts as a tasty addition to your nutritional regime, but it varies the healthful nutrients and substances you take in when you eat nuts.


Nuts deliver a high nutritional payload in a very compact container. Along with various vitamins and minerals, nuts are especially valuable for the LDL cholesterol-lowering compounds that most of them provide. Pistachios, walnuts, and almonds are the true superstars in the nut world, providing fiber, plant sterols, and Omega-3 fatty acids. Incorporate nuts into your daily routine and enjoy the benefits they provide.


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