Pecans may help reduce cholesterol

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I love pecans. I regularly make nacho cheese pecans. I created my own nacho cheese seasoning based off of a recipe I saw from Bon Appetit’s former YouTube channel. I fry raw pecans with salted butter in a pot. When they are a deep brown I remove them to a bowl and toss them with about 3 tbsp of this nacho cheese seasoning. Most people like their pecans sweet but I like mine salty and tangy like Doritos.

“We examined the impact of daily pecan consumption on blood lipids and glycemia in adults at-risk for cardiovascular disease.”

The researchers assigned 52 adults between the ages of 30 and 75 who were at higher risk for cardiovascular disease to one of three groups.

One group consumed 68 grams (about 470 calories) of pecans a day as part of their regular diet; a second group substituted pecans for a similar amount of calories from their habitual diet, and a control group did not consume pecans.

At eight weeks, participants consumed a high-fat meal to determine changes in blood lipids and the amount of glucose in the blood.

There was a significant reduction in fasting total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, triglycerides, total cholesterol/high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol ratio, non-HDL cholesterol, and apolipoprotein B in the two pecan groups, with no changes in control.

Daily Pecan Consumption May Help Reduce Cholesterol Levels | Medicine, Nutrition | Sci-News.com

Pecan-Enriched Diets Alter Cholesterol Profiles and Triglycerides in Adults at Risk for Cardiovascular Disease in a Randomized, Controlled Trial | The Journal of Nutrition | Oxford Academic (oup.com)

The science is in! To lower your cholesterol avoid carbs.

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At least that’s what’s being said this week. Personally from all the books I’ve read on the topic it seems obvious to me that saturated fats from animal products don’t cause any harm whatsoever while highly processed fats from plant sources do a great deal of harm. It also makes common sense since there was no one refining seeds to make oils when man was in his primitive state.

Diamond and his co-authors say following a low-carb diet is most effective for people at increased risk of heart disease, such as those who are overweight, hypertensive and diabetic. Their findings are consistent with another paper recently published in the “Journal of the American College of Cardiology,” which provided strong evidence that food that raises blood sugar, such as bread, potatoes and sweets, should be minimized, rather than tropical oils and animal-based food.

Science Daily

How many eggs a week are too many?

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An article from the Cleveland Clinic tells us there is no current recommendation as to how many eggs are too many and then goes on to tell us that too many eggs are bad.

I think if you’re suffering from heart disease then you need to keep a close watch on your cholesterol with your doctor. Your test results should be the determining factor as to what you eat and how much.

“There is no current recommendation on how many eggs you should consume each week,” says Zumpano. “Research indicates that total saturated fat contributes more to LDL (bad) cholesterol than dietary cholesterol.”
She points out that egg whites are safe and a good source of protein. It is egg yolks that have the cholesterol and saturated fat you’re trying to avoid.

The Cleveland Clinic

Nutrition Diva Podcast addresses the latest news on eggs and heart disease

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You can’t eat eggs. You can eat eggs. You can’t eat eggs. What do we do?!?

The Nutrition Diva Podcast tells you the facts behind the latest news.

All of this evidence ultimately led the USDA to take cholesterol off the list of nutrients of concern. This decision was not an impulsive one. In fact, many in the health and nutrition community felt that it took the USDA 10 or 20 years longer than it should have to let eggs and cholesterol off the hook.
When this latest study hit the newswire, dozens of concerned Nutrition Diva listeners reached out to me for comment. And I totally sympathize with those of you who feel jerked around. First eggs are bad. Then they’re fine. Now they’re bad again. So let me try to put this latest headline in perspective.

Scientific American

D’Marge Magazine marginalizes followers of low carb and keto diets

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Passing off people who are on a low carb diet as cultists who ignore science is not a good way to put forth your argument. Especially since there is now a great deal of science behind the benefits of going low carb.

While a diet high in full-fat dairy, butter, ghee and coconut oil can help us feel fuller for longer and reduce our sugar cravings, too much saturated fat raises cholesterol levels in the blood, which can lead to “furred up” arteries and an increased chance of having a heart attack or stroke.

D’Marge

The quote above from the article is highly simplistic with its claims regarding cholesterol. We now know in order to determine if you have a cholesterol problem that you need to do a deep dive into your HDL and LDL levels. It’s far more complex than just seeing higher levels.

As to why we have the rates of obesity and diabetes that we do? While low carb high-fat proponents say it’s because the food pyramid is a lie, medical professionals at places like the British Dietetic Association “believe it’s less that the guidelines are wrong, and more that we aren’t following them,” (BBC).

D’Marge

Anyone who has looked into the “Food Pyramid” knows that it is, in fact, a lie. It’s based on faulty science perpetrated by Ancel Keys and the agriculture and processed food industries.

The article gives some bad advice as its conclusion by telling its readers to swap out saturated fat for whole grains (bad), high quality protein (good), non-saturated fats (bad), fresh fruit (bad), and vegetables (can be good). At least they do recommend staying away from sugar and refined carbohydrates.