A study released on May 10th in the Archives of Internal Medicine reports that eating about 2.4 ounces (two and a half airplane snacks’ worth) of any kind of nuts every day helps lower total cholesterol and “bad” LDL cholesterol, and improves the ratio of total cholesterol to “good” HDL cholesterol. Nuts are high in unsaturated fats, protein, fiber, and phytosterols, all which compete with cholesterol to be absorbed.
The most profound effect was found on people who already had higher levels of LDL cholesterol and who were not obese. Thus, it was reported, the more nuts eaten, the better the effect.
Note: There were only 583 participants from 24 clinical trials. The study was financed in part by the nuts-industry foundation and/or the nuts/peanuts industries. However, this is not to say nuts do not play a significant role in heart health, as stated above.