When added to your diet, this snack can substantially lower your cholesterol levels.

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When added to your diet, this snack can substantially lower your cholesterol levels.

HIGH CHOLESTEROL LEVELS are thought to be responsible for 64,000 fatalities in the UK each year, or 175 every day or one every eight minutes. One strategy to lower cholesterol levels, according to the NHS, is to eat fewer fatty meals. Yet, according to new research, consuming one specific item can lower your risk of not only high cholesterol but also heart disease.

Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like molecule produced by the liver. Cholesterol is necessary for the creation of cell membranes, vitamin D, and certain hormones, but it can also be harmful. Low-density lipoproteins (LDL) are the ‘bad cholesterol,’ and a significant build-up can lead to life-threatening health problems like heart attacks and strokes. Unless, of course, you eat this meal to help lower your risk.

According to a research published today by the American Heart Association, people who ate a handful of walnuts every day for four years experienced a slight reduction in their LDL cholesterol levels.

The addition of around 64 grams (half a cup) of walnuts to the typical daily diet lowered LDL levels by an average of 4.3 percent in 708 healthy, independent-living people between the ages of 63 and 79.

Their total cholesterol level was reduced by an average of 8.5 milligrams per deciliter.

“Previous studies have indicated that nuts in general, and walnuts in particular, are connected with decreased risks of heart disease and stroke,” said Emilio Ros, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Lipid Clinic at the Endocrinology and Nutrition Service of the Hospital Clnic of Barcelona.

Although the reduction in LDL cholesterol levels may appear minor at first look, especially considering the data were taken across two years, they are quite significant when examined closely.

Men and women over the age of 45 and 55 are at an increased risk of high cholesterol and heart disease as a result of growing older.

“As would be expected in an elderly population, close to half of the patients were being treated for both high blood pressure and hypercholesterolemia,” Ros said of the study.

“All of the participants in our research had normal cholesterol levels, thanks in part to statin medication in 32% of the cases.

“A nut-enriched diet may lower LDL cholesterol levels in people with high blood cholesterol levels.”Brinkwire Summary News”.

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