Heart disease continues to be the major cause of death and high levels of fat in the blood are the main contributors.
It is good to limit the intake of foods that raise cholesterol in the blood.
According to the American heart association, 35.7 million adults in the United States suffer from high cholesterol levels.(1) High cholesterol levels are linked with increasing the risk of heart disease. It is therefore important to know about the factors which contribute to increased cholesterol levels.
Food contributes to 25 percent of total cholesterol present in the body and the rest of it is produced in the body.
What is Cholesterol?
Cholesterol is a fat-like substance that provides structure to the cell membranes. It also makes hormones and bile acids that are needed to break down fat during digestion
It travels through the bloodstream with the help of lipoproteins.
Low-density lipoproteins carry a majority of cholesterol in the body and make it stay in the blood vessels.
High-density lipoproteins bind to the only ¼ of the cholesterol in the body. It takes the cholesterol to the liver where it is broken down and removed.
High levels of cholesterol present in the blood vessels start getting deposited along the vessel wall, obstructing the normal flow of blood. This leads to heart disease.
Consuming dietary cholesterol raises the blood cholesterol level, but eating certain types of saturated fats are known to affect cholesterol levels more. Also, trans fats are known to increase LDL cholesterol levels and decrease HDL cholesterol levels.
Cashews Nutrient Content
Cashew nuts grow on the trees. A cashew nut resembles an apple and is bright yellow to red skin.
Cashew contains a significant amount of fats. It is a good choice for snacking due to its high protein content which is 4 grams per 1 oz serving, vitamins (vitamin E. K, and B-6), minerals like copper, magnesium, iron, and selenium, and cholesterol-free status. All of these are important for a variety of body functions
Raw and unsalted cashews are a part of vegan recipes and are used in Indian cooking as well.
Does Eating Cashews Raise Blood Cholesterol Levels?
Cholesterol contains healthy fats and therefore eating it may not increase the blood cholesterol level.
Cashews Lower Bad Cholesterol
Cashew contains both saturated and unsaturated fats.
Most of the fats in cashews are unsaturated which promote heart health. 2 ounce of serving of cashews gives 2 grams of saturated fats and 16 grams of unsaturated fats.(2) Therefore, there is very little to worry about. Eating them in moderation regularly can actually help lower the low-density lipids and total cholesterol.
Cashews can be a part of anyone’s heart-healthy diet.
Cashews Raise The Good Cholesterol
The role of cashew is not just to lower the bad cholesterol levels in the body; it also helps raise the good cholesterol (HDL) level.
Few researchers found out that eating cashew had a good impact on the levels of good cholesterol. It was found over a period of 12 weeks, consuming cashew boosted the level of HDL.(3)
The copper and iron present in cashews help the body to use and form red blood cells. They also keep the blood vessels, nerves, bones, and immune system functioning properly
This alone is a very good reason to include cashew in the diet.
Cashews contain a lot of vitamins, nutrients and good fat. The good fat present lowers the risk of stroke and helps keep you full and satiated.
This powerhouse of nutrition can very well be included in the diet without fearing that it would affect the cholesterol level in a bad way. Along with keeping the levels under control it has been linked to cancer prevention, weight management, and keeping the heart healthy.