Healthy Nuts: Walnuts can lower LDL cholesterol

Walnut diet effective method of lowering cholesterol
The consumption of walnuts has a positive effect on many age-related health problems, according to the conclusion of the first results of the study "Walnuts and Healthy Aging (WAHA)", which was presented at the Experimental Biology 2016 in San Diego. For example, daily walnut consumption in older people has a positive impact on blood cholesterol levels without negative effects on body weight, reports Emilio Ros from the Hospital Clinic in Barcelona. According to the researcher, the levels of "bad" LDL cholesterol can be significantly reduced by eating walnuts on a daily basis.

It was already known from previous studies that walnuts can have a positive effect on the metabolism. But the prevailing concern was that long-term consumption would lead to weight gain, explains Dr. Emilio Ros. The research team led by the Spanish experts therefore analyzed the effect of daily walnut consumption on body weight and cholesterol levels in older adults. According to their results, the consumption of walnuts is definitely advisable for older people.

No negative effects on body weight
As part of the WAHA study, the scientists investigated the effects of supplementing the usual diet with a daily dose of walnuts (approximately 15 percent of the daily calorie intake) on 707 healthy, older adults. After a year of study, the scientists evaluated the serum lipids and the development of the body weight of the test subjects. "The preliminary results of the WAHA study show that the daily consumption of walnuts for one year (...) has no negative effects on body weight," emphasized Dr. Ros. It also becomes clear that the known cholesterol-lowering effects of walnut diets work just as well in older people as in young people, emphasizes the study leader.

Significant reduction in LDL cholesterol
After a year of study, the researchers found that the walnut diet had minimal effects on body weight, triglycerides and HDL cholesterol. "However, the walnut diet resulted in a significant reduction in LDL cholesterol compared to the control group of the nut-free diet," the researchers report. LDL cholesterol is known as "bad" cholesterol because it is linked to numerous health problems, such as the development of hardening of the arteries. The daily consumption of walnuts could possibly prevent complaints. (fp)

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