Here is a report of the latest research on nut consumption from Medscape website.  The good news…nuts are good for us!

The consumption of nuts of nearly any type improves blood lipid levels, lowering total- and LDL-cholesterol levels, and improves important lipid ratios, according to the results of a new meta-analysis [1]. The cholesterol-lowering effects of nuts are dose related and more pronounced in individuals with higher baseline LDL-cholesterol levels and in those with a lower body-mass index (BMI), according to investigators.

“Our findings confirm the results of epidemiological studies showing that nut consumption lowers coronary heart disease risk and support the inclusion of nuts in therapeutic dietary interventions for improving blood lipid levels and lipoproteins and for lowering coronary heart disease risk,” write lead investigator Dr Joan Sabaté (Loma Linda University, CA) and colleagues in the May 11, 2010 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

The authors add that a recent summary of these previous epidemiological studies suggested that the risk of coronary heart disease was nearly 40% lower among individuals who ate at least four servings of nuts per week, compared with those who rarely or never ate nuts. In 2003, the Food and Drug Administration issued a qualified claim stating that the consumption of specific nuts–almonds, hazelnuts, pecans, pistachios, walnuts, and peanuts–might reduce the risk of heart disease.

Consuming 67 g of nuts per day (about 2 oz.) reduced total- and LDL-cholesterol levels 10.9 mg/dL and 10.2 mg/dL, respectively. It also significantly improved the ratio of LDL to HDL cholesterol and the ratio of total cholesterol to HDL cholesterol. There was no significant effect on HDL-cholesterol levels and no effect on triglycerides, although a reduction in triglyceride levels was observed among individuals with higher baseline levels.