Foods to Help Lower Cholesterol - 2 Studies Reviewed

Are you overweight? Do you have high cholesterol? Are you looking for foods to help lower cholesterol?

Do you eat brazil nuts?

In May of 2011, the journal Nutrition & Metabolism reported a study in which overweight adolescents were fed brazil nuts for 16 weeks.

When some of the girls were given 3-5 brazil nuts each day for 16 weeks, Priscila Maranhao and colleagues observed the following:

  • Reduced total cholesterol
  • Reduced LDL cholesterol
  • Reduced triglycerides
  • Reduced levels of oxidized LDL cholesterol
  • Did not affect body mass, waist circumference or BMI
  • Improved the function of small blood vessels

The researchers presume that brazil nuts exert these effects via some combination of bioactive components found in the nuts: selenium, fiber, "good" fats, vitamin E, etc.

The biggest problem with this study is that only 17 teenagers were studied: 8 received brazil nuts, and 9 took a placebo pill. Such a small sample size makes one cautious about definitive conclusions.

In addition, we would like to apply these results to the whole population, but right now, we only know about the effects of brazil nuts on a very select population: obese females between the ages of 13 and 17.

However, consuming only 3-5 nuts each day yielded results! So it may be worthwhile for the general population to increase its brazil nut intake until research can be done on additional demographics.

See a whole list of

foods that lower cholesterol in this article.

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