Nuts and cholesterol

A study conducted by Victor Fulgoni et al. conclude that almonds significantly reduces total and LDL cholesterol levels. While almonds had little effects on reducing cholesterol in individuals with normal blood cholesterol levels, they were especially effective in individuals with elevated cholesterol levels. There consumption reduced total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol by respectively 5.3 % and 6.8 % whereas differences in HDL cholesterol and triglyceride were not significant.

A recent study published last year in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, has pointed out the relation between walnuts consumption and LDL cholesterol. They have study the effects of walnuts on two different diets: regular diet and low-fat diet.

The low-fat diet did not decrease significantly either the total or LDL cholesterol, but when walnuts were added to this diet, both LDL and total cholesterol levels were lowered. On the contrary, when walnuts were added to the regular diet, no changes were observed concerning the LDL or total cholesterol.

However, a significant decrease was observed concerning the small-density LDL. LDL cholesterol can be divided into different groups depending on the size of the LDL lipoprotein, small LDL being the most dangerous.s

When the regular diet was added with walnuts, small LDL levels were decreased by 26 %, which is quite an interesting finding.

Units Regular diet Regular diet + Walnuts Low-fat diet Low-fat diet + walnuts
Triglycerides mmol/l 2.47 2.22 2.31 2.28
Total Cholesterol mmol/l 5.97 5.79 5.84 5.39
LDL cholesterol mmol/l 3.57 3.63 3.67 3.22
HDL cholesterol mmol/l 1.27 1.14 1.11 1.13
Small LDL % 46.1 33.4 42.1 39.1

Realized by Laurence LIVERNAIS-SAETTEL, dietitian
© Copyright L. Livernais-Saettel 2002
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