Stay Healthy with 10 Nuts to increase HDL cholesterol

“My focal myocarditis saved my life!” Okay, so how often have you heard someone say that their cardio disease has saved their life? Probably, never. But for Elaine McCracken, this was the turning point of her life. Just like any other mother, all she wanted in her life was watching her kids grow and age wisely and chow down her favorite sweets – cheesecake, whipped cream and cookie dough.
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With 80 pounds of weight and good levels of bad cholesterol, she desperately needed a wake-up call to put her back in action. In December 1999, that too happened. Her doctor diagnosed her with focal myocarditis. Myocarditis affects thousands of Americans every year. It is a health condition known to cause inflammation of the heart muscle. Now here is the tragic side – there are no symptoms to detect them at an early stage and can occur even in healthy people who are having proportionate weight.

With her cholesterol level spiked up to 256, Elaine knew this means a long goodbye to her sweet tooth. She entered a rehab and start working out. For a person who hated exercising, this is a great step forward. Of course, this also means healthy diet and no high calorie foods.

Keeping herself motivated and pushing towards a better goal, her current focus now is to stay healthy. Of course, just like many of us, there are weak moments when the evil side takes over and she goes back to old lifestyle. But the bigger person wins and she has now lost 70 pounds, feeling a lot healthier not to mention emotionally positive that pushes her towards a better self. Her key goal is setting a good example for her family who is by the way are big gobblers of scrumptious delicacies.

If you think clearly, every food we consume describes us in one way or other and bind us emotionally.

  • You feel hungry – you munch down whatever you can lay your hands on
  • You feel angry – you grab a chocolate to soothe yourself
  • You are happy – a big smorgasbord, cakes, and what not
  • You are sad – a big bowl of chocolate ice cream with extra toppings or a pizza with extra melting cheese seems like the ultimate pain reliever
  • Watching a football game or your favorite movie – even popcorn is not enough to satisfy the thrilling match

The story of Elaine is not about one or two, but a situation which all of us are facing. The aim to decrease the LDL (bad) cholesterol from the body and raise the good cholesterol is often a task that seems impossible to achieve.

A healthy diet and exercise are easier said than done but not many are able to pull themselves through this phase. This is mainly because people need instant results and lack patience to await the results. Another factor to note is the fact that maintaining a healthy body is not a one-time thing, it’s a lifelong story that is yet to reach a happy ending.

Keeping yourself fit and active is not a Herculean task. By cutting down LDL triggering foods and the underlying reason as to why you need to balance your body cholesterol levels, switching to better foods won’t be an option anymore, it will become a part of your a habit.

While a healthy diet plays an essential role in everyone’s life, nuts can give you an added benefit to your body in raising the level of good cholesterol thus inhibiting progress of LDLs. The keyword here is “minimal” amounts with the blend of nuts or else there is a great chance you will gain those weight back within no time.

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Here are top 10 humble and healthy nuts whose benefits we very much overlook but are powerful enough to fight those mean LDL and actually work in cutting down total cholesterol levels and boost the HDL cholesterol levels. Note that a handful of these nuts every day works wonders on your body unless you eat too much where the result is a fat ass (pun intended).


Looks likes the inside of a human brain…but delivers rich antioxidants and omega 3 fatty acids. The World’s Healthiest Foods says that walnut contains L-arginine (an amino acid) that can not only cut down hypertension but also soothes the spiked up blood cells.


Cashews are tricky nuts. While undoubtedly they taste great when sprinkled on stir-fry dishes or as a spread, the outer shell of the cashew can be quite toxic when ingested and has the same ingredient found in poison ivy. Have a peace of mind that the cashews you consume arrive processed and steamed.


Before you grab that protein bar, check the label and have a second look. I promise you won’t find anything beneficial for your body. Instead, go for a fistful of almonds that have prebiotic effects and promote a good gut.


Pumpkin seeds come with a nutty flavor that is hard to resist. Next time you make a pumpkin pie, do not throw away those seeds. They have an equal potential to balance the total cholesterol level by shooing away the bad ones from your body. They are rich in minerals such as zinc, manganese not to mention phytosterols that can kickstart the level of HDL in your body. If this is not enough, they are a prominent source of fiber and make a great addition to pasta, salads etc.

Macadamia Nuts

You know when Harlan Pepper’s bloodhound couldn’t talk, he would go ‘rrawr rrawr’ that sounded like Macadamia Nut. Though toxic to dogs, macadamia nuts are a hit among us not only the sound they make when you bite but also for the optimum benefits it offers. From omega 3 to omega 6, macadamia nuts are best to fight inflammation and possesses the highest amount of monounsaturated fatty acids that you can find in any other nut. Consume regularly but moderately to lower your LDL, triglycerides and total cholesterol.


They are not nuts but fruits. Another unbelievably true fact for you. They are actually seeds of a fruit that are rich in phytochemical substances and include lot of vitamin E, carotenes and many more.


Oregon’s official state nut, hazelnuts are quite overlooked and I am not sure why. A handful of filberts (another name for hazelnuts), it’s a sweetly flavored nut that is rich in minerals, fiber, vitamins, fiber and what not. Keep a mental note to have it in moderate amount as are big on calories and provide 9% of daily energy intake in a typical 2000 calorie diet.


Americans are obsessed with peanuts and that shows in the consumption of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches that they gobble up almost every day. Though considered excellent for lowering cholesterol, they have allergenic properties due to Alfatoxin B1 (a toxic mycotoxin) that comes with peanuts. But if you are not allergic to peanuts, a fistful will work amazingly in your body.

Brazil nuts

Here is a something you don’t know. Brazil nuts do not come from Brazil, so much for the name. The benefits though remain intact. From mag to fiber, brazil nuts are a great source of energy and nutrition that will keep you from unwanted foods and keep your tummy full until next meal.

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Pine Nuts

You might have thrown this at girls during childhood but if you looked inside you would see a delicious pine nut. Pine nuts are also beneficial for those who are trying to lose weight because they give you the feeling of “full” thus curbing your appetite. As per a research, women who consumed 3 grams of these fatty acid pinolenic acid before breakfast decreased their food intake by 37% because of slow absorption of food in their gut. Pine nuts also benefit your cardiovascular health in more than one ways by lowering the LDL in body.


Maintaining a healthy body is not like as difficult as climbing Mt. Everest and that slight changes here and there will give you amazing results. Of course, you cannot expect overnight miracles but need to realize that it is a continuous journey for a positive life ahead.