A recent meta-analysis of research on different types of nuts indicates that almonds, pecans, peanuts and walnuts can lower cholesterol levels. This finding confirms the results of previous studies, which linked nuts to a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and improved longevity.
Appearing in the September 2005 issue of the Journal of Nutrition, the study reviewed 23 published articles that focused on the effect of nuts on lipid concentrations. The authors concluded that “Consumption of ~50–100 grams (g) (~1.5–3.5 servings) of nuts ≥ 5 times a week as part of a heart-healthy diet with total fat content (high in mono- and/or polyunsaturated fatty acids) of ~35% of energy may significantly decrease total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol in normo- and hyperlipidemic individuals.”
Keep in mind, however, that certain nuts, such as macadamias, are not as heart-healthy as those recommended by the researchers, which were almonds, pecans, peanuts and walnuts.