Walnuts Help Control Cholesterol Levels and Blood Vessel Health

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Adding walnuts to your diet may improve blood vessel function and lower cholesterol levels, according to a study published in BMJ Open Diabetes Research & Care. Researchers at Yale University divided 112 participants at risk for diabetes into two groups, one that received dietary counseling to help them compensate for the added walnut calorie intake by keeping their calorie intake constant and another group who received no counseling. Both groups were further divided into subgroups that were instructed to eat 56 grams (roughly 2 ounces) of walnuts per day or avoid walnuts all together. Participants switched subgroups after a three-month period. Those who consumed walnuts improved their endothelial function and lowered total and LDL cholesterol levels. However, the group instructed to eat the daily serving of walnuts without calorie restriction saw an increase in total body fat, a reminder that energy balance must still be taken into consideration.

Njike VY, Ayettey R, Petraro P, Treu JA, Katz DL. Walnut ingestion in adults at risk for diabetes: effects on body composition, diet quality, and cardiac risk measures. BMJ Open Diab Res Care. Published online November 23, 2015.

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Find fiber on the label. Good sources of fiber have at least 3 grams per serving while excellent sources have 5 or more grams per serving.

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