Nuts and Cholesterol

05.21.10 | Sherri Watters | Comments[0]

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The link between diet and cardiovascular disease is a strong one. Diets high in saturated fats, salt, cholesterol and sugar increase the risk of heart disease. Those ingredients are what we find in processed, fast and junk foods! On the other hand studies show that the "Mediterranean diet" that is high in olive oil, fresh and dried fruits, grains, legumes and nuts lower both cholesterol levels and heart disease risk.

Almonds have always been top on the list for therapeutic values. They are high in potassium, magnesium, phosphorus and protein. Cashews are high in potassium, magnesium, vitamin A and fat. They are good fats for the most part but like peanuts, macadamia, pecans, pistachio, sunflower and walnuts, are higher in saturated fats which if consumed in large amounts can lead to a greater risk of cardiovascular disease.

Pecans and walnuts are rich in vitamin A and potassium. Due to the oil content in nuts, you must take care to get them fresh as they can become rancid quickly. When we consume rancid oils our bodies do not absorb vitamin A, C and E causing a whole list of deficiencies. Nuts are great antioxidants and while there is no definite research that they cure any disease there is growing evidence that they may prevent cancer, coronary heart disease and cataracts. They shorten the infections of colds and flu and improve immune function.

The oil from walnuts is polyunsaturated and tends to lower blood cholesterol. Another reason that nuts are affective in lowering the risk of heart disease is their high fiber content. Fiber binds itself to cholesterol and helps to eliminate it naturally from the body.

Please consult your doctor or nutritionist before making any changes to your diet.


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