October 28, 2011
One particular nut drops
triglyceride levels by 10.2%
You’ve probably heard that nuts are a superfood. New studies come out monthly extolling the power of nuts to keep you healthy. Most of these studies focus on almonds. But two new studies say another great-tasting nut can drop your triglycerides and your LDL cholesterol.
The first study found that pistachio nuts (67 gms daily) can lower your total cholesterol by 5.1% and LDL by 7.4%. These green nuts also improved LDL to HDL ratios by 5.6%. But that wasn’t the big news. Those study participants with high triglycerides (.150 mg/dl) saw their levels drop by 10.2%. The researchers said the nuts work best in those with higher LDL cholesterol and/or with a lower body mass index.
In the second study, researchers confirmed the first study. They found that 32-63 grams (10% of daily energy needs) per day of pistachio nuts reduced serum oxidized LDL concentrations. It also raised plasma lutein, alpha-carotene, and gamma tocopherol. These are important natural antioxidants.
This should have made big headlines in the news. Since it wasn’t a drug study, it didn’t. We know oxidized LDL effects coronary and arterial disease. What a simple treatment to reduce the fundamental cause of many heart attacks!
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Why does this great tasting food have these amazing benefits? First, it’s loaded with phytosterols. These plant molecules are similar in structure to cholesterol. They might interfere with cholesterol absorption. But that’s not all. Pistachio fats are about 50% monounsaturated, 8.5% saturated, and the rest is unsaturated. Almost all of the unsaturated fat is omega-6 parent oil linoleic acid (about 30%).
Whole nut consumption is usually healthy. In most cases, no one has extracted the oils. This would otherwise make them susceptible to oxidation/rancidity/rusting. In this case, omega 6 seems to be a hero, contrary to the current marine oil omega-3 dogma. This certainly fits with the information I’ve written here about parent oils. The most important key in correcting heart disease, in my book, is totally eliminating adulterated oils. You must replace these with unadulterated parent oils. Pistachios are a tasty treat to assist in this. While dry roasted pistachios are most common, unroasted pistachios are also readily available. Not heated, they’re far healthier for you.
If you eat a largely uncooked diet, you’ll be getting lots of plant sterols and unadulterated fatty acids. This will help lower your dangerous oxidized lipids and speed you on your way to literally preventing and even reversing vascular disease.
Ref: Arch Intern Med, 2010; 170(9); J Nutr, 2010 June; 140(6).
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