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Here is what walnuts can do to your body

Walnuts can increase your life span, hold innumerable benefits, and there is one more addition to its magic done by a new study. They improve cholesterol levels in your body.

According to the new study conducted by the University of California, whether one follows a diet high in healthy fats, or low in fat and high in carbohydrates, both are effective in cutting on pounds. Nevertheless, it is the cholesterol level one should seek to improve. The effective way to do so is a diet high in fat and rich in walnuts.

Wanting to look further into how diet can affect lipid levels, the levels of fat in the blood which then attach to proteins to form lipoproteins, also known as cholesterol, the team of researchers recruited a group of 245 overweight and obese women onto a one-year behavioral weight loss program.

The group was randomly divided into three different diet groups; one group followed a low-fat, high-carb diet; another followed a low-carb and high-fat diet; and the third group followed a high-fat and low-carb diet which was rich in walnuts, a great source of polyunsaturated fatty acids.

Blood samples were taken from the participants to measure their cholesterol levels at the beginning of the study and six months later.

When looking at the data at the six-month point, the findings showed that all three groups had lost a similar amount of weight, showing almost 8% weight loss on average.

However when looking specifically at the participants’ cholesterol levels, it was the high fat, low-carb diet that was rich in walnuts and the polyunsaturated fatty acids that had the most beneficial effect on the body’s lipid levels, lowering the levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL), more commonly known as bad cholesterol, and increasing levels of the beneficial high-density lipoprotein (HDL).

The women in the high-fat, low-carb group, who consumed monounsaturated fats but not walnuts, did not benefit from the same effect, with lead author Cheryl Rock saying, “What we found is that a diet high in healthy oils did lower lipids, but it also lowered both good and bad cholesterol.” These findings showed that women who were sensitive to insulin lost the most weight when following a low-fat, high-carb diet, but like the high-fat, low-carb diet, this diet also did not have the beneficial effect on lipid levels as the walnut-rich diet.

The study was published in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

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