Cholesterol has two main components. The low density lipoproteins (LDL) or bad cholesterol and high density lipoproteins (HDL) or good cholesterol. Your goal should always be to increase HDL and reduce LDL in your blood to stay healthy.
There are a number of ways in which you can reduce your LDL. One of them is regularly eating pistachio. In this article we will discuss how to use pistachio to lower your bad cholesterol levels.
Table of Contents
- How Does Pistachio Lower Cholesterol?
- How to Take Pistachio Nuts for Cholesterol
- Benefits and Risks of Pistachios
- Other Tips and Precautions
Let us first understand how low density lipoproteins LDL or the so-called bad cholesterol impacts your health.
When healthy and gets oxidized it forms plaque in the arteries. This narrows down the arteries and restricts the blood flow causing heart diseases.
Pistachios not only reduce the bad cholesterol in your bloodstream but also stop LDL from oxidizing.
In two separate studies done by Pennsylvania State University researchers found that antioxidants levels rise and LDL cholesterol reduces when Pistachios are consumed regularly.
This is a double advantage to improve heart health. First of all lower LDL levels are good for overall health, if these LDL don't get oxidized then they will not plaque and block the arteries.
The research included a set of people whose average cholesterol levels were high above the boundary levels. They were given different diets with and without pistachios as under.
- Average high fat American diet
- Average low fat healthy diet
- Average diet with Pistachios.
When people were given one serving of pistachios daily their LDL cholesterol levels reduced by 9%, with two servings the reduction was 12%.
You can eat pistachio nuts in many different ways. Some of the good options are as under:
This is perhaps the easiest way to enjoy pistachio and its benefit.
- Take a handful of unsalted pistachio with shell
- Remove the shell of each nut and eat one nut at a time.
- Chew each nut very well
- Do it twice daily
Don't buy pistachio without a shell. There's nothing wrong with them but you might end up eating more than required. Removing the shell of each nut one by one and eating it by chewing well takes time. So, you will not overeat. All nuts are high in calories so you need to be in limits to avoid weight gain.
- Add handful of shell removed Pistachios in your salad bowl
- Eat your salad slowly and enjoy the taste and crunchiness added by pistachios
- Do it twice a day
Eat with salad will not only make you full but also give you more benefits as the low fat, low carb salads will not add cholesterol to your blood. So on one hand you don't add more bad cholesterol and on the other hand pistachios kill existing bad cholesterol LDL.
- Crush handful of pistachios in a grinder.
- Add them to your healthy smoothie if your choice
- Drink and enjoy the smoothie
- Do it twice daily by changing the Smoothie if you prefer varieties
Make sure that your smoothie is not high calories. Green smoothies are generally good for cholesterol and blood pressure reduction.
Health benefits of Pistachios are many when taken in limited quantities. Large consumption may pose some risks.
- Reduces Blood Pressure
- Lowers Cholesterol
- Controls Blood Sugar
- Helps in Weight Reduction
- Improves Digestion
- Removes Skin Dryness
- Assists in Iron Absorption
Consuming large quantities of pistachios particularly the salted ones can pose the following risks
- Weight gain
- High blood pressure due to salt
- Gastrointestinal problems in some individuals
- Kidney problems in some cases as pistachio are rich in potassium
- Allergies in some people who may have tree nut allergies
Bad cholesterol in your blood comes from bad food. Take the following precautions to reduce LDL the bad cholesterol.
- Avoid refined carbohydrates
- Don't eat high fat high sodium junk food
- Exercise regularly
- Drink lots of water daily
- Sleep well and enough during the night
Pistachios are not only good for lowering your cholesterol but also offer multiple health benefits if consumed in limited amounts. So, go get them and enjoy munching to stay healthy. Don't over eat.