New Study Confirms That Walnuts Lower LDL Cholesterol

New Study Confirms That Walnuts Lower LDL Cholesterol

Loma Linda University research just published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition compares the effects of walnuts and fatty fish (in this case, salmon) in the fight against heart disease. In healthy individuals, walnuts lower cholesterol more than fish, while fatty fish are superior for reducing triglycerides. Both eaten together can reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.

"The practical significance of the study is that eating an easy-to-incorporate amount of walnuts and fatty fish can cause meaningful decreases in blood cholesterol and triglycerides even in healthy individuals", says lead author Sujantha Rajaram, PhD, associate professor of nutrition at Loma Linda University School of Public Health.

Following the qualified health claim issued by the FDA, researchers found that incorporating about 1.5 ounces of walnuts (equal to about 3 tablespoons of chopped nuts) into the daily diet lowered serum total cholesterol by 5.4% and LDL cholesterol by 9.3%. In addition, eating two servings per week of fatty fish (about four ounces each) reduced triglyceride levels by 11.4% and increased HDL by 4%.

"Both plant and marine-derived omega-3 fats are cardioprotective, and since they seem to be effective for lowering different risk factors, it would be prudent to include both in the diet", says Dr. Joan Sabate, MD, PhD, and one of the authors of the study and chair of the department of nutrition.

To access the manuscript of the study, visit The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition and use the reference 10.3945/ajcn.2009.26736S on the Internet.