Statin drugs, the drugs of choice to lower cholesterol levels and reduce risk of heart disease for many people, lower cholesterol levels approximately 30%.
Guess what! You can reach that same 30% decrease in cholesterol without medication – just by eating 1-2 ounces of nuts 5 times per week along with these other healthy eating habits:
– decrease total saturated fat intake from red meat and many convienence foods
– increase fiber intake by eating more whole grains and legumes (beans like lentils and chickpeas)
– eat more fruit and vegetables – preferably 9 servings per day
Any type of nut will have a cholesterol-lowering effect: almonds, walnuts, even pistachios. The key is to keep your portions small. Look at the nutrition facts label on the nuts you purchase, and measure out a 1-ounce portion. That’s about 47 shelled pistachios, 30 peanuts, 24 almonds, 20 pecan halves or hazelnuts, or 14 walnut halves. Eat too many nuts, and you’ll consume more calories than you need and most likely gain weight.
Check out these delicious and simple recipes using pistachios: http://www.pistachiohealth.com/pdf/HeartHealthStudy_recipes.pdf
I tried both the muffins and the granola, and they’re fantastic! Do you have any favorite ways to incorporate nuts into your daily food choices? Be sure and post your suggestions here!