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Walnuts Improve Cholesterol Levels

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In fact, he adds, "by incorporating a few walnuts a day into a typical Western diet, we can expect even greater benefits -- if saturated fat is replaced by walnuts."

Besides, adds Sabaté, walnut patties and meatballs are crunchier, with richer texture and flavor than their beef-based counterparts. "My wife makes walnut balls and almond balls instead of meatballs and, to me, they are far more tasty than meatballs."

In reviewing the study, Ronald Krauss, MD, member and past chairman of the American Heart Association's nutrition committee, tells WebMD, "Can people gobble a bunch of walnuts and get similar results? I don't think we can say that."

Krauss brings up another issue. "Obesity is entering the picture more and more as a major contributor not only to heart disease but also diabetes. Nuts are rich in fat and high in calories, so we always have to temper our enthusiasm. If you eat too many nuts, you get too many calories. And that's always a caution."

Vital Information:

 

  • A recent study shows that a Mediterranean diet that includes a handful of walnuts each day can lower "bad" cholesterol even more than the same diet without the nuts.
  • Researchers believe that walnut oil could have positive effects on cholesterol, but it has not been studied.
  • Also, in other studies, almonds have been found to have some benefit.
  • One expert cautions that walnuts are rich in fat and calories.
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