fatty acids, especially those found in many oils and nuts,
are reguarded as keys to preventing cardiovascular disease
and promoting healthy cholesterol levels. Walnuts are of special
interest because they are primarily polyunsaturated (72%)
and monounsaturated (18%) fatty acids.
A recent study of 793 inhabitants of a French farming community
examined the potential effect of walnut consumption on blood
cholesterol levels. Results showed that people who ate walnuts
more than twice a week and used walnut oil every day (at least
for six months) had higher levels of "good" cholesterol
than nonconsumers. People who consumed at least some walnuts/walnut
oil also showed increased levels of the "good" cholesterol
compared with nonconsumers.
So what is "good" cholesterol? Technically, it's
known as HDL (high-density lipoprotein) cholesterol -- but
don't let the fancy name confuse you. research shows that
it really is just plain "good" because it actually
carries cholesterol out of the bloodstream (as opposed to
LDL -- low density lipoprotein -- cholesterol, which is considered
the "bad" cholesterol).
So add walnuts to your list of foods that help keep your
"good" cholesterol levels high. And ask your doctor
for more information on cholesterol and the many food sources
high in unsaturated fatty acids.
Lavedrine F, Zmirou D, Ravel A, et al. Blood cholesterol
and walnut consumption: a cross-sectional survey in France.
Preventive Medicine, 1999: Vol. 28, pp333-339.
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