Eating pecans works the same as prescription drugs to lower cholesterol
Posted Sep 14 2008 6:12pm
There's an amazing study about pecans and their ability to lower bad LDL cholesterol levels. Participants were involved in a controlled diet study where 20% of their calories were replaced with pecans. The pecan diet involved adding pecans to cereal, salads, and entree dishes. The total amount used for the study was just one handful of pecans a day.
The researchers found that the pecan diet reduced bad cholesterol over TWICE as much as the American Heart Association's AHA Step I diet to reduce cholesterol. As a matter of fact, not only did the pecans work better to lower bad cholesterol, but they also did a better job in increasing the good HDL cholesterol. The AHA Step I diet was found to actually lower the good HDL cholesterol, which is completely counterproductive. And the researchers also found that adding pecans was easier to maintain than trying to keep up with the more restrictive diets.
What's even more interesting is that the pecan diet was found to have the same effect as prescription medications in lowering cholesterol levels. But cholesterol levels are not the best indicator for future heart disease. In fact, the AHA now says that high C-reactive proteins in the blood are a better indicator than cholesterol levels. C-reactive proteins are high when the body is suffering from systemic inflammation, which is the precursor for chronic diseases.
Nuts are a great nutrient-dense food that I eat regularly. But not all nuts are the same. Ungerminated nuts contain enzyme inhibitors that prevent the enzymes from being released. Jigsaw's organic pecans are soaked for 24 hours in salt water,which begins the process of germination. Then they're dried at low temperatures in low humidity, so that important enzymes remain intact. This also gives them a crisp, crunchy, delicious taste!