The #1 Best Nut to Lower Your Cholesterol

pecans in a white bowl © Provided by Eat This, Not That! pecans in a white bowl

We know by now that nuts come with tons of added health benefits, like improving the health of your arteries, providing you with essential minerals, and potentially lowering inflammation.

On top of all that, nuts have also been found to help improve your cholesterol levels, which can improve your overall health. And according to a new study done by the University of Georgia Athens and published in the Journal of Nutrition, pecans may have the ability to improve total cholesterol, low-density lipoproteins (LDL cholesterol), and triglycerides, especially in people at higher risk for cardiovascular disease.

spoon of pecans on a table © Provided by Eat This, Not That! spoon of pecans on a table

In the study, 52 participants were divided into three groups over an 8-week period. The first group ate around 470 calories of pecans a day along with their normal diet, the second group ate even more pecans by replacing their usual caloric intake, and the third group acted as a control group without any pecan consumption at all.

After the 8-week period, the first and second groups both saw a decrease in non-high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, triglycerides, and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (the "bad" kind of cholesterol).

Although more research still needs to be done on this topic, these findings about pecans and heart health are significant. A professor and one of the authors from the study, Jamie Cooper, told UGA Today that even the smallest decrease in cholesterol can have an impact on your risk of coronary heart disease.

RELATED: Eating Habits to Avoid If You Don't Want High Cholesterol

Health properties of pecans

pecans © Provided by Eat This, Not That! pecans

This study shows promising results with pecans and heart health, but the specific properties of pecans that contribute to these results are still not totally clear.

Nuts in general have been proven to have numerous health benefits because of their healthy fat, amino acid, vitamin E, potassium, and high fiber content, which could be a possible explanation for the research findings on pecans.

While there is still more to learn about pecans and their effect on cholesterol and heart health, we know they can be a major part of a healthy, cholesterol-improving diet.

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The #1 Best Nut to Lower Your Cholesterol