Video:How Walnuts Can Help Lower Cholesterolwith Laureen Wallravin
Walnuts are a wonderfully healthy snack that pack in the vitamins and nutrients. In this health video from About.com, get an overview of how walnuts can help to lower your cholesterol.See Transcript
Transcript:How Walnuts Can Help Lower Cholesterol
Hi, I'm Laureen Wallravin, Certified Nutritional Therapist and founder of RelishedFood.com. I'm here for About.com and today we're going to talk about how walnuts can help lower your cholesterol.
Keeping Your Cholesterol in Check
Whether you eat them as a snack or add them to your favorite dish, a handful of walnuts each day can do you a lot of good. Let's take a closer look. Cholesterol has gained a bad rap over the past few decades, but our bodies actually need it for metabolic functions. High-density lipoproteins, or HDLs, are considered “good” cholesterol, while low-density lipoproteins, or LDLs, are often referred to as “bad” cholesterol. It's the LDLs that increase your risk of atherosclerosis, which is why it's a good idea to keep your cholesterol levels in check.
Walnuts Help Balance Healthy Levels
The foods you eat play a crucial role in this balancing act, and eating certain things – such as walnuts – can help you to lower your cholesterol. Walnuts contain Phytosterols, which are a naturally occurring type of unsaturated fat found in plants. Consuming foods with phytosterols can actually reduce the production of bad cholesterol in our systems, helping to lower the LDL levels over time.
In addition to LDLs, high triglyceride levels are a factor that can negatively affect your cholesterol. Foods that contain polyunsaturated fatty acids, such as Omega-3, can effectively reduce your triglycerides. As walnuts are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, they're a great addition to your diet when working to combat high cholesterol.
Walnuts are Packed with Vitamins and Nutrients
Another great reason to eat walnuts is they're packed with vitamins and nutrients including: B vitamins, Vitamin E, magnesium, fiber, and antioxidants. While these may not work to directly lower your cholesterol on their own, our bodies need them to function properly -- and the healthier you are, the easier it'll be to naturally reduce your cholesterol.
Walnuts Alone Will Not Cure High Cholesterol
Just a tip: Simply adding walnuts to your meal options won't cure your high cholesterol; they're just one of the many things you should be eating as part of a balanced diet. If your cholesterol is too high, you likely need to do a complete nutritional overhaul, which will definitely include cutting out junk food and incorporating exercise into your daily routine. Keeping your cholesterol in check is one of the best ways to improve your overall health. The next time you reach for a snack, don't forget the walnuts and all the good they can do for you.
Thanks for watching. To learn more, visit us on the web at about.com.