Since we spent all week breaking down the good, the bad, and the ugly side of dietary fat, I thought today would be a great time to talk about the perfect “diet” snack…
One that’s actually quite full of the right kinds of fat: Nuts!
Nuts are abundant in fat, fiber, and protein. They satisfy your hunger while delivering a long list of health-boosting nutrients. And they do, indeed, impact your cholesterol levels—but not in the way that most people might expect…
Dramatic drops in just eight weeks
A recent study featured 52 adults between the ages of 30 and 75 years. All were at increased risk for heart disease.
Researchers assigned subjects to one of three groups: The first ate 68 grams of pecans (a little over two ounces, or about 470 calories’ worth) every day as part of their usual diet. The second swapped out an equivalent number of calories from their usual diet with the same amount of pecans. The third group served as the control, and participants didn’t consume any pecans.
After eight weeks, researchers assessed changes in blood lipids and blood sugar both before and after a high-fat meal.
Researchers found that post-meal triglycerides dropped in the first group that added pecans to their diet. (Remember, high triglycerides point to heart disease risk.) And post-meal blood sugar dropped in the subjects who subbed pecans into their diet.
But most importantly, they found that fasting cholesterol improved in both pecan groups. The average drop in total cholesterol was five percent among subjects who ate pecans. And drops in LDL (“bad”) cholesterol averaged between six and nine percent.
While that might not necessarily sound like a lot, consider this…
Even more effective than exercise
Previous research has shown that exercise interventions deliver one percent drops in total cholesterol and five percent drops in LDL cholesterol.
So, simply eating pecans may be even more effective than physical activity when it comes to boosting your lipid profile! (Not that you should replace your workouts for a handful of pecans, though.)
Ultimately, even the smallest improvements in cholesterol can make a meaningful difference to your heart disease risk. But some of these study subjects went from having “high” cholesterol to normal levels—just with this one simple dietary change.
The way I see it, that’s a win-win situation. Just make sure you skip right over the pie, and stick with a daily handful of raw pecans instead.
P.S. This Sunday, September 19th at 3:00 p.m. (EDT), you have a chance to attend my Combat Your Inflammation Summit. During this online event, I’ll address the No. 1 root cause of disease—and how you have the potential to reverse it. So please, click here now to reserve your spot to this private broadcast!
“Pecan-enriched diet shown to reduce cholesterol: People at risk for cardiovascular disease showed improvements.” Science Daily, 08/23/2021. (sciencedaily.com/releases/2021/08/210823125651.htm)