When it comes to your health, it’s okay to go a little nuts. Researchers discovered that eating a handful of nuts a day lowers cholesterol by 10 percent and cuts your risk of a heart attack in half.
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Transcript Below:

Show Open

Patricia Kelikani (Host)
Health Journalist
When it comes to your health, it’s okay to go a little nuts. Especially since heart disease is so prevalent in our country.

Dr. Mark Reeves (Host)
Surgical Oncologist
In fact, one-third of Americans have high LDL cholesterol—the bad kind of cholesterol. Those with high total cholesterol have twice the risk of heart disease compared to people whose cholesterol levels are under 200.

Patricia Kelikani (Host)
With heart disease being the number one killer in the United States, researchers at Loma Linda University Health advise us to go nuts with our health.

Dr. Mark Reeves (Host)
Back in 1993, Loma Linda University Health made a landmark discovery that reversed the health advice from the American Heart Association. Up until then, the organization advised the public against eating nuts because of the high fat content.

Patricia Kelikani (Host)
However, Dr. Joan Sabaté discovered that adding one to two servings of nuts to our daily diets could actually cut our risk of having a heart attack in half. During the initial study, the researchers put subjects on a two-month diet known as the American Heart Association step-one diet to lower cholesterol.

Dr. Mark Reeves (Host)
Half of those subjects were fed the same diet with 20 percent of the calories coming from walnuts. The following month, the groups switched.

Dr. Joan Sabaté
LLU Professor of Nutrition & Epidemiology
“The walnut diet lowered much more the cholesterol particularly the LDL-cholesterol that is considered the bad cholesterol without changes in the good cholesterol, the HDL cholesterol.”

Dr. Mark Reeves (Host)
Nuts are rich in unsaturated fat— a healthy type of fat that our bodies need to reduce LDLs, the bad cholesterol in our blood. In addition, walnuts have high levels of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3s help lower levels of triglycerides, a type of fat in the bloodstream.
But nuts are also loaded with protein.

Joan Sabaté
“Percent wise and quantity wise it is even greater than the protein that is in meat or in many other animal products. Besides fat and protein, nuts have many other micronutrients such as minerals, vitamins.”

Patricia Kelikani (Host)
For more than 20 years, Dr. Sabaté has been studying the effect of nuts on our health and summarized that one to two servings of nuts a day lowers cholesterol by 10 percent.

Dr. Mark Reeves (Host)
So what are today’s health tips?
Eat a handful of nuts a day to cut your risk of heart disease in half and reduce your cholesterol.

Joan Sabaté
“Every morning that I have a smoothie, I put whatever is the ripe fruit that is available, and then two or three handful of nuts, and that is a perfect smoothie.”

Patricia Kelikani (Host)
Other ways to incorporate nuts into your diet include topping salads with nuts instead of croutons, or adding them on pizza and pasta.
There’s your tip for the day on how you can live healthier, longer.

All health and health-related information contained in this program is general in nature and should not be used as a substitute for a visit with a health care professional. Viewers should consult their health care providers concerning any medical condition or treatment.
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