Nuts For Heart Health

nutsMany Americans have nixed nuts due to their high fat content, but new research shows going a little nuts may improve heart health by decreasing cholesterol. In one recent study, walnuts were incorporated into the diets of 23 women and 26 men, all with high cholesterol. After six weeks of eating walnuts, participants showed significant decreases in LDL (bad) cholesterol and total cholesterol (Annals of Internal Medicine, 2000, vol. 132).

This latest research supports earlier findings from the Harvard Nurses Health Study, which showed women who ate five or more servings of nuts a week had two-thirds the rate of heart disease deaths and nonfatal heart attacks as non-nut eaters (British Medical Journal, 1998, vol. 317).

While the unsaturated fat in nuts is an excellent option to saturated fat, researchers note a handful a day is all that's needed.

— Lara Evans

Photography by: Rita Maas