Cardiovascular disease remains a major health problem, and cholesterol problems continue to be a major risk factor. Despite nuts' reputation for being fatty, this study found that eating Brazil nuts is an effective way of improving cholesterol. . . .



Seventy-seven people with high blood pressure and cholesterol problems were given either a placebo or 13g a day of Brazil nut flour a day in this double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Everyone in the study was placed on a diet that was designed to benefit blood pressure and cholesterol, and they were all already on cholesterol lowering drugs.

Brazil nuts are a rich source of the antioxidant mineral selenium, and at the end of the ninety day study, selenium levels were significantly elevated in the people who got the Brazil nut flour; selenium levels went down significantly in the placebo group. In the Brazil nut group, total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and the dangerous lipid Lp(a) all decreased significantly.

Blood pressure, body mass index and waist circumference were not affected by the Brazil nuts.

This study shows that Brazil nuts can improve cholesterol without leading to any weight gain. The study is impressive because the people actually had high blood pressure and cholesterol and were already on cholesterol lowering drugs and a diet designed to benefit blood pressure and cholesterol. Brazil nuts were able to add benefit beyone the drugs and diet.

A recent study found that pistachios are also good for cholesterol and adds to the ever growing body of evidence that nuts are good for your heart and good for your health without being fattening, contrary to the popular misconception. Almonds have been shown to lower LDL choleserol (J Am Diatetic Assoc 2005), macademia nuts lower the bad LDL and raise the good HDL cholesterol (J Nutr 2003) and walnuts have also been shown to improve cholesterol without increasing weight (Am J Clin Nutr 2001). Pecans and hazelnuts have also been shown to improve cholesterol.

Br J 2015;14:59


For much more on the benefits of nuts for cholesterol, see our book, The Family Naturopathic Encyclopedia.

For help with cholesterol and heart health, make an appointment to see Linda Woolven now.

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