Cholesterol: the pecans, the miracle food to reduce it?

An American study has just shown that a diet enriched with pecans can lower cholesterol levels in people at risk of cardiovascular disease.

The magic recipe to get rid of cholesterol may be on your plate. According to a new American study published in the Journal of Nutrition on August 12, it was shown that a diet enriched with pecans could lower cholesterol levels. Researchers at the University of Georgia found that participants at risk of cardiovascular disease in the study who ate pecans during the eight weeks of the experiment saw their cholesterol, triglycerides, and low-density lipoprotein (LDL or bad cholesterol) drop. Jamie Cooper, a professor in the FACS Department of Nutritional Sciences and one of the study’s authors, calls “this dietary intervention extremely successful,” according to ScienceDaily.

An average drop in LDL cholesterol between 6 and 9%

He says he saw “people who went from high cholesterol at the start of the study no longer fall into that category after the procedure.” The researchers found an average drop of 5% in total cholesterol and between 6% and 9% in LDL (low-density lipoprotein or bad cholesterol) in participants who consumed pecans. “Adding pecans to the diet not only produced a greater reduction in total cholesterol and LDL compared to many other lifestyle interventions but may also be a more sustainable approach to long-term health,” said study author Jamie Cooper.

A reduction in LDL cholesterol of between 6 and 9% is of major importance when we know that “some research shows that even a 1% reduction in LDL is associated with a small reduction in the risk of coronary heart disease”. In practice, the researchers studied 52 adults aged 30 to 75 years and at high risk of cardiovascular disease who were divided into three groups. The former consumed 68 grams or about 470 calories of pecans per day in his daily diet. The second replaced nuts with a similar amount of calories from their usual diet. The last control group did not consume any pecans at all. As a result, after eight weeks of testing, fasting blood lipids showed similar improvements for both groups that consumed pecans, while triglycerides after meals were reduced in the group that added pecans to their diet.

Pecans: rich in fatty acids and fiber

Very encouraging results that are not surprising when we know the virtues of pecans, rich in healthy fatty acids and fiber, are both linked to a drop in cholesterol. The researchers insisted on the bioactive properties of these oilseeds. Pecans, like all nuts in general, are known to prevent the onset of cardiovascular disease.

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