Dispatch: For Those With High Cholesterol: Nuts to You

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The latest issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine includes a meta-analysis of 25 studies on the effects of nut consumption on blood-lipid levels, concluding, “Nut consumption improves blood lipid levels in a dose-related manner, particularly among subjects with higher LDL-C [‘bad cholesterol’] or with lower BMI.”

“The meta-analysis covers only 583 people over 25 trials, which is a surprisingly small number,” says Dr. Ross. “Still, this is a pretty well-focused study, and it’s important because almost everyone eats nuts. The bottom line is that moderate amounts of the nuts studied here are good for you as far as your lipid profile is concerned. Unfortunately, nuts are also fairly high in calories ounce for ounce, since they contain lots of fat.”

Dr. Whelan agrees: “The amount of nuts that you have to eat to generate this beneficial effect is very small. Still, two servings can add 200 calories to your daily calorie intake, so that’s something to keep in mind for those trying to manage their weight.”