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Friday, November 5th, 2010 by American Senior Fitness Association   View This Issue of Experience!

Nut consumption has been linked to improved cholesterol levels by an analysis of studies published recently in the Archives of Internal Medicine. Results indicated that enjoying approximately 2.3 ounces of nuts daily decreased total cholesterol levels by 5.1 percent and LDL cholesterol (the "undesirable" type) by 7.4 percent. It improved the ratio of LDL cholesterol to HDL cholesterol (the "desirable" type) by 8.3 percent and reduced triglyceride levels by 10.2 percent in persons with high triglycerides.

Although the strongest evidence for nuts’ helpful effects has come from research involving walnuts and almonds, other types of nuts have also been found beneficial. They include pecans, peanuts, macadamias, hazelnuts and pistachios.

Due to their high caloric content, nuts can contribute to unhealthy weight gain if eaten in excess. However, moderate nut-eating can add useful dietary fiber, vegetable proteins, vitamins, antioxidants and cholesterol-lowering unsaturated fat to the diet.

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