Nuts are a kind of fruit with a hard outer shell, with the exception of peanuts, which are legumes. Nuts are a popular food worldwide, and there is evidence that they may benefit a person’s health.
A variety of nuts may lower low-density lipoproteins (LDL), or “bad” cholesterol, while raising high-density lipoproteins (HDL), or “good” cholesterol. However, not all nuts have the same effect on a person’s cholesterol levels.
This article discusses cholesterol and how it affects a person’s health. It also explores the effects that several types of nuts have on cholesterol levels and their nutritional content. Finally, it answers some common questions about some of the most suitable nuts for lowering cholesterol.
Cholesterol is a fatty molecule that plays a number of
There are two types of cholesterol: LDL cholesterol and HDL cholesterol. A person with higher LDL cholesterol levels may be at risk of developing:
Conversely, someone with higher HDL levels may be at a decreased risk of developing these conditions.
According to a
The review’s authors noted that eating peanuts can lower a person’s total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol levels without making significant changes to their HDL cholesterol levels.
After reviewing 26 studies, the authors concluded that a person may lower LDL cholesterol levels by eating walnuts. However, this effect was more pronounced when walnuts contributed between 10% and 25% of a person’s daily energy intake. There was less of an effect when that figure was less than 10%.
According to a
However, the researchers of a
Therefore, further research into cashews and cholesterol may be necessary.
The authors of a
The authors suggested that people may lower their risk of developing dyslipidemia — blood lipid levels that are too high or low — by eating 45 g of almonds daily. Dyslipidemia is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease.
The authors of a
The study authors hypothesized that the high dietary fiber content of hazelnuts might contribute to this effect. According to the USDA, 100 g of unroasted hazelnuts contain
The USDA provides the following nutritional data for 100 g of unroasted hazelnuts.
There is limited recent research into the effects of macadamia nuts on cholesterol.
However, a small 2003 study indicated that macadamia nut consumption could lower LDL levels by around
A small 2013 study indicated that a single Brazil nut serving of
Conversely, the authors of a
Below are some of the most common questions and answers about nuts to lower cholesterol.
Can eating too many nuts raise cholesterol?
Yes, it is possible that eating nuts in excess may increase LDL cholesterol levels due to their saturated fat content. Eating nuts in excess may also exceed a person’s daily calorie needs, leading to increased LDL cholesterol levels.
However, saturated fat content varies between different types of nuts, and eating certain nuts in moderation as part of a balanced diet may increase HDL cholesterol levels.
Are cashews bad for cholesterol?
Do pistachios lower cholesterol?
If a person has excess LDL cholesterol and insufficient HDL cholesterol, they may develop serious health conditions later in life.
However, people may improve their cholesterol levels by adding certain types of nuts to a balanced diet. A healthcare professional can offer further advice and help an individual manage their diet to reduce LDL cholesterol levels.