Walnuts Lower Cholesterol and the FDA Approves the Science and the Claim

Topics: Wellness and Health

In an 8-week, open, crossover trial of walnuts versus olive oil, walnuts win, hands down. It’s one of the first studies that use a whole food (not an isolated nutrient) to lower cholesterol, especially LDL (read, Lousy) cholesterol. Start your own cholesterol lowering program, using food as medicine too.

The FDA now allows walnut advertising for preventing heart disease. No question–nuts are good medicine. In the walnut diet, people ate 1.4 to 2.3 ounces daily (40-65 g or 8-13 whole, raw walnuts) instead of the equivalent number of calories in olive oil. Their total cholesterol dropped 4% and LDL cholesterol dropped 6% compared with the control Mediterranean diet.

What’s new is the measurement of arterial dilation–how elastic the inside lining of an artery became after eating walnuts instead of olive oil. Remarkable!

Why do walnuts work? More than any other tree nut, they have a high content of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), a plant-based omega-3 fatty acid. Plus, L-arginine, folic acid, fiber and gamma-tocopherol which appear to help prevent atherosclerosis.

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