Do Pecans Help Lower Your Cholesterol?

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31% of American adults have high cholesterol. Advances in science, namely the use of medicines like Lipitor, have helped reduce bad cholesterol for millions of Americans, but it is still a problem that affects a large portion of our population.

We have discussed some of the health benefits of pecans, but how does eating pecans directly affect your cholesterol levels? In the book Health Benefits of Pecans (James L. Hargrove, PhD, et. al.), the authors discuss the benefits of pecans to people with high cholesterol.

The authors reviewed a study at Loma Linda University which "evaluated the effect of pecan consumption on cholesterol in people following a Step 1 cholesterol-lowering diet that had been proposed by an expert panel of the National Cholesterol Education Program."

The findings?

"The main result of the Loma Linda study was that a pecan-enriched diet significantly lowered total cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol and TG (triglycerides) while increasing HDL-cholesterol. These changes are all consistent with better heart health. Strikingly, the lipid profile was improved even compared to the Step 1 diet that is intended to improve heart health! Adding pecans improved blood lipids even though total fat intake increased. Despite the increase in fat intake, subjects eating pecans did not gain significant body weight."

For reference, LDL is low-density lipoprotein, commonly referred to as "bad cholesterol" (vs. high-density lipoprotein, which is considered "good").

This is just one of the many health benefits of adding pecans to your daily diet. Read about more of them on our nutrition blog.

Topics: Nutrition