In an analysis that included the most comprehensive and authoritative to date, nuts proved their efficacy in improving blood lipid levels. After pooling the data from 25 separate clinical tests, scientists determined that including up to a third of a cup of nuts dailylowers LDL (bad) cholesterol by 7.4 percent, lowers triglycerides by 10.2 percent, and improves the ratio of LDL to HDL (good) cholesterol by 8.3 percent. This trio of benefits translates to dramatic cardiovascular risk reduction. Although almonds and walnuts have the most data behind them, the lead investigator said all nuts, including peanuts, pecans, hazelnuts, macadamias, and pistachios provide essentially the same results. (Archives of Internal Medicine, May 2010)
In addition to cardiovascular protection, nuts have also been shown to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, protect against macular degeneration, promote longevity, and aid in maintaining a healthy body weight. With the exception of those who are allergic, everyone should include an ounce (about a handful) of nuts in their diet daily. Go eat some now!