To lower cholesterol, walnuts should be eaten regularly
Elevated cholesterol levels can help serious illnesses develop. Researchers have now found that regular consumption of natural walnuts can reduce the value of so-called non-HDL cholesterol by seven percent. This effect is apparently completely independent of the absence of other foods.
In their investigation, the scientists from the clinic of the University of Munich found that if people regularly eat walnuts, this reduces the non-HDL cholesterol in the body. The doctors published the results of their study in the journal "Nutrients".
Eat 43 grams of walnuts every day
Walnuts seem to help fight high cholesterol. The positive effect is not influenced by the absence of other foods. To lower the unhealthy cholesterol, 43 grams of the walnut must be consumed daily. This leads to a reduction in bad cholesterol by about five percent. "And regardless of whether you omit fats or carbohydrates in your diet instead of walnuts," explains Professor Dr. Klaus Parhofer, senior physician in the medical clinic and polyclinic IV at the clinic of the University of Munich in a press release on the publication of the study. The results of the study indicate that only nut consumption is the decisive factor for the positive effect on cholesterol levels, the expert adds.
Doctors examined around 200 subjects for their study
The study examined about 200 healthy female and male subjects. The participants were on average around 63 years old. All participants in the study were non-smokers. The participants were initially divided into different groups. All subjects in the test group consumed 43 grams of walnuts every day within eight weeks. One group of participants was instructed to avoid carbohydrates, the second group avoided the consumption of fats and the third group avoided the combination of fats and carbohydrates. In addition, there was a control group that did not eat any nuts over a period of eight weeks, so that values were available for comparison, the experts explain.
How did fats and carbohydrates affect the observed effect?
According to the scientists, the participants adhered to the prescribed form of nutrition only to a limited extent. However, a closer look at the results of the study showed that subjects who had taken the recommended diet consistently made no difference in terms of improving cholesterol levels. In other words, it doesn't matter if you reduce your fat or carbohydrate consumption by eating a handful of walnuts a day.
Should the walnuts be consumed as part of a main meal?
The research team led by Professor Dr. Parhofer also investigated whether it makes a difference if the nuts are consumed as part of a main meal (for example, as a salad) or only as a kind of snack. In this part of the study, too, no different effects on fat metabolism could be determined.
More research is needed
Further studies on this topic are currently being evaluated. These should lead to a better understanding of whether regular consumption of walnuts affects the composition of the bacteria in the human intestinal flora. If such an impact should really exist, additional research needs to be carried out into how exactly this positive effect is triggered. (as)