Pistachios Lower LDL Cholesterol...

Nuts are powerful foods! Study after study shows nuts not only lower cholesterol, but also protect against age-related diseases; like heart disease and cancer. And now, new research by Pennsylvania State University claims PISTACHIOS can lower cholesterol.

It appears in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. WebMD reports:

First, participants spent two weeks on a standard American diet rich in full-fat cheese, oil, and butter and lacking pistachios.

Next came a month on a low-fat diet without pistachios, another month on a healthy diet that included one daily serving of pistachios, and a third month eating a similar diet with two daily servings of pistachios, with two-week breaks between each type of diet.

Participants got all their food, packaged into appropriate serving sizes, from the researchers. And they stuck to their assigned diets pretty well, the study shows.

Average LDL levels fell when participants ate pistachios -- not enough to get their LDL levels into the optimal range, but enough to get it out of the "borderline high" category.

LDL cholesterol level dropped by 9% during the month that participants ate a daily serving of pistachios and by 12% when they had two daily servings of pistachios.

This story first broke in May, with researchers suggesting that one or two handfuls of pistachios can LOWER cardiovascular risk by reducing LDL or "bad" cholesterol levels; via HealthDay News. Dr. Fuhrman recommends walnuts for heart health too.

And, other nuts, like pecans and almonds, help strengthen bones, improve glucose control and provide key vitamins and minerals. That’s why I’m NUTS!

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Comments (6) Read through and enter the discussion with the form at the end
Elijah - September 16, 2008 2:51 PM

I love raw in-shell pistachio nuts! Vitamin cottage and Jaffe Brothers (Jaffe Bros.) are the only ones I have found so far that carry them!

They are a world apart from the roasted salty pistachio's.

April - September 16, 2008 2:55 PM

Hi Gerry,

I wish they would tell exactly how much a "handful" is because a person who really likes nuts and wants to justify eating a large handfull that equals 3 or 4 ounces, and who is over weight and unhealthy is different from someone like me who understands that nuts are high in omega 6 fatty acids and eating too many of them can throw your omega 6 and 3 ratio way out of balance. 2 ounces of raw pistachios has a ratio of about 7 - 1. That is way too high. Unless you are eating a ton of green leafys and can balance that out with them and other foods. Anyway, I think that when information like this is being release to a population like ours, who loves to have our high fat diets justified any way we can, they need to be very specific. (even though the study was about cholesterol).

Thanks for your great blog!

Monty - September 16, 2008 3:56 PM

For this to work, you'll most likely need raw, unsalted pistachios. The roasted salted ones commonly available probably won't have the beneficial effects.

Sara - September 16, 2008 10:45 PM

I love raw pistachios but I would rather not shell them . So I get the ones that are already shelled, April- you could weigh the nuts. One ounce for someone trying to lose weight. Qite a bit more for athletes.

yvonne - June 11, 2009 3:19 PM


Love your site very informational. I have high cholesterol and work very hard at controlling it. I exercise and try to eat a good diet low in fats. Your information will help me even more. I try to learn as much as I can about cholesterol. Thanks and keep up the good work!!!!!!!!!!!!!

lower cholesterol - May 26, 2010 4:28 AM

I'm nutty about nuts, especially pistachios.

I once consumed a kilo inside of an hour. I felt pretty full after that.

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