A new study by researchers at the Loma Linda University says that eating nuts may help lower cholesterol and other blood lipid levels. And those lower levels could help prevent heart disease.
"This study gives evidence that the cholesterol-lowering mechanism is one of the driving forces in the previously discovered relationship that nuts prevents heart attack," Dr. Joan Sabaté of Loma Linda University in California said in an interview.
Doctors recommend eating about two and a half ounces of nuts a day. They said eating nuts should be part of a diet low in saturated fat.
"Greater cholesterol lowering effect is found when nuts replace saturated fat than when olive oil or carbohydrates are replaced," Sabaté and his colleagues wrote. "This finding has important clinical and public health applications."
Recommended nuts include almonds, hazelnuts, pecans, pistachios, walnuts, peanuts and some pine nuts.
The study, recently published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, used data from 25 international nut consumption trials involving 583 women and men with high cholesterol or normal cholesterol levels.