High blood levels of Low Density Lipoprotein (LDL) or “Bad Cholesterol” have been associated with higher levels of hardening of the arteries (arteriosclerosis), heart disease and strokes. A number of studies have reported that dietary nutrients from fiber rich foods like oatmeal and nuts can significantly reduce blood levels of LDL cholesterol.
Recently, statistical meta-analysis was made of 25 studies in which 583 adults with normal or high cholesterol ate nuts regularly for a period of several months. None of the adults were taking cholesterol lowering drugs. These studies all involved eating 1 to 3 ounces of one type of nuts such as almond, hazelnut, macadamia, peanut, pecan, pistachio or walnut. Blood LDL cholesterol levels dropped by an average of 10.2 milli-moles per 100 milliliters of blood in the nut eating adults but LDL levels changed little in the control adults. Among adults with high levels of blood triglycerides (above 150 milliliters/ 100 milliliters of blood) blood levels of triglycerides dropped by an average of 20.6 millimoles/ 100 milliliters in the nut eating group, but had little change in the control group.Results were statistically very significant. All 7 of the nuts used seemed to have a similar effect in reducing levels of LDL cholesterol.
This study by Sabate et al. was published in the May 2010 Archives of Internal Medicine.