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Cashews and cholesterol...

Posted on April 23 2022

Here is what you need to know.

I don’t eat cashews, they have too much cholesterol?

I heard a client tell this to me recently and I was taken aback.

Well, technically cashews have zero cholesterol. Yes, they really do not have any cholesterol. It’s a myth that has been doing the rounds for a long time now, without any awareness of its actual source. 

Cashews are not at all bad for your health. They have essential fatty acids which are really good for you. They have no relation with your dietary cholesterol. So, if you eat cashews, your cholesterol levels will not go shooting up.

However, of course, it has fats so it is high in calories but that is true with any nuts and seeds. That is, all nuts and seeds are high in calories. This is why I recommend my clients to eat no more than 1-2 tbsp of nuts/ seeds per meal. This way, you get the benefits without going overboard.

So how many cashews can I eat per day?

Cashew cream used in curries or on salads is actually really tasty and amazingly filling.

Now, even though most of the nut is fat, a healthy fat, it's still a lot of calories. That's why you should eat nuts like cashews in moderation. Therefore, 10-30 grams of cashews per day are good to consume.

20 to 25% of your overall calories coming in from whole fats like seeds, nuts, olives and avocados are essential.  

Cashews are nutrient-dense foods filed with numerous health benefits. Nuts like cashews help boost HDL (the good cholesterol) and lower your LDL (bad cholesterol) and triglyceride levels.

Cashews also have a lot of antioxidants and minerals providing several health benefits to your body. They are abundant with monounsaturated fatty acids and polyunsaturated fatty acids, which are linked to reduced cardiovascular disease risk. 

Additionally, since nuts contain fiber, they in fact help you to lower your cholesterol. 

What does science say? 

There has been extensive research carried out on nuts and their health outcomes in the last few decades.

A study in 2017 was called “Cashew consumption reduces total and LDL cholesterol: a randomized, crossover, controlled-feeding trial”. It examined the effect of reasonable intakes of cashews on serum lipids in adults with or at risk of high LDL cholesterol. The study found that the incorporation of cashews into typical American diets in fact decreases total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol. 

Therefore, forget about the baseless myths and incorporate cashews into your regular nutrition plan.

Trust this helps,

Roshni Sanghvi. 

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