Before You Go Nuts…

I came across an article in the New York Times today about a new nutritional study stating that eating about two ounces of nuts a day can lower your cholesterol. The study looked at data from 25 preexisting nut consumption trials that involved 583 men and women from 7 countries with normal and elevated blood cholesterol levels. A analysis of the pooled data revealed that eating 67g (2.4 oz) of nuts a day could significantly lower one’s cholesterol.

Don’t get me wrong, I think nuts are great. I eat them everyday (mostly almonds). Nuts are full of good fats and have a fair amount of plant-based protein. They are, however, very calorie and nutrient dense. A serving of nuts is typically one ounce, which is usually characterized as “one handful.” One serving of almonds has about 160 calories and 14g of fat, while one serving of walnuts as about 200 calories and 18g of fat. According to this study, you should be eating almost two and a half servings of nuts a day if you want to lower your cholesterol– If you chose walnuts, this would mean an additional 500 calories and 45g of fat per day. Most diets, such as The South Beach Diet, and even the Primal Blueprint recommend eating no more than one serving of nuts per day.

I am not a medical professional, nor do I want to sound preachy… but before you go nuts with the nuts, maybe consider some other ways to lower your cholesterol…like taking a look at your red meat consumption, and maybe increasing whole grains. I love almonds and pecans and walnuts– I eat about an ounce pretty much every day (I might be a little too addicted to almond butter for my own good), but I know that if I were to eat two servings a day, my waistline would most definitely increase. Definitely eat nuts, but maybe consume them in moderation…everyday…just a little bit…

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