New research shows that nuts may offer a natural approach to cutting cholesterol. In a review of 25 clinical trials with a total of 583 participants, scientists found that consuming about 2.4 ounces of nuts daily was linked to an average 5.1 percent drop in total cholesterol levels. That same amount of nut consumption was also associated with a 7.4 percent decrease in LDL ("bad") cholesterol and an 8.3 increase in HDL ("good") cholesterol).
Rich in healthy fats, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, nuts may be helpful in lowering risk of heart disease, according to the study's authors. A number of other foods (such as oats, legumes, and fiber-rich fruits and vegetables) may also help you achieve healthy cholesterol levels and protect heart health. What's more, some studies suggest that certain natural substances (such as cinnamon and red yeast rice) may help keep cholesterol in check as well.