Add Walnuts to List of Foods that Fight Cholesterol
Unsaturated fatty acids, especially those found in many oils and nuts, are reguarded as keys to preventing cardiovascular disease and promoting healthy cholesterol levels. Walnuts are of special interest because they are primarily polyunsaturated (72%) and monounsaturated (18%) fatty acids.
A recent study of 793 inhabitants of a French farming community examined the potential effect of walnut consumption on blood cholesterol levels. Results showed that people who ate walnuts more than twice a week and used walnut oil every day (at least for six months) had higher levels of "good" cholesterol than nonconsumers. People who consumed at least some walnuts/walnut oil also showed increased levels of the "good" cholesterol compared with nonconsumers.
So what is "good" cholesterol? Technically, it's known as HDL (high-density lipoprotein) cholesterol -- but don't let the fancy name confuse you. research shows that it really is just plain "good" because it actually carries cholesterol out of the bloodstream (as opposed to LDL -- low density lipoprotein -- cholesterol, which is considered the "bad" cholesterol).
So add walnuts to your list of foods that help keep your "good" cholesterol levels high. And ask your doctor for more information on cholesterol and the many food sources high in unsaturated fatty acids.
Lavedrine F, Zmirou D, Ravel A, et al. Blood cholesterol and walnut consumption: a cross-sectional survey in France. Preventive Medicine, 1999: Vol. 28, pp333-339.
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