A study out of Penn State shows pistachios may lower cholesterol just like nutritious fruits and vegetables do. Part of the reason for the cholesterol reduction has to with the pistachios high levels of lutein, gamma tocopheral, beta carotene, and antioxidants.
Participants were placed on three diets. One diet did not contain pistachios, another diet consisted of eating 1.5 ounces of pistachios each day for four weeks, and the last diet had participants eat 3 ounces of pistachios a day for four weeks. At the end of each diet the participant’s cholesterol levels were tested.
Researchers found “3 ounces of pistachios reduced the amounts of total cholesterol in the blood by 8.4 percent and low-density lipoprotein (LDL), the so-called bad cholesterol, by 11.6 percent.” Moreover, both the 1.5 and 3 ounce pistachio diets showed a 15 percent reduction in interleukin-1 inflammation, which has been linked to cardiovascular disease.