A NEW NUT GETS ADDED TO THE HEALTH BASKET

MACADAMIA NUTS ARE HEART HEALTHY

Including 1.5 ounces of macadamia nuts each day may lead to an improvement in blood cholesterol levels, according to a study funded by The Hershey Company (NYSE:HSY).

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The study compared a diet containing MAUNA LOA macadamia nuts to the average American diet using a randomized, controlled crossover design. Twenty-five adults with moderately elevated blood cholesterol consumed both diets for 5 weeks. The study demonstrated significant improvements in levels of total cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol (bad cholesterol) and the ratios of TC/HDL-C and LDL-C/HDL-C, important measures of cardiovascular health, after eating macadamia nuts. The results of this study are in agreement with previous studies that also have reported a reduction in LDL-C following the consumption of macadamia nuts and other nuts, including walnuts, almonds and peanuts.

Macadamia nuts are a concentrated source of monounsaturated fat, which, when eaten regularly may help displace sources of cholesterol-raising saturated fats in the diet, however, the data indicate there may be other healthful compounds in macadamia nuts. The reductions in blood cholesterol with the macadamia nut diet are greater than what would be expected solely on the basis on the type of fat consumed, suggesting that there are other bioactive factors in macadamia nuts.

"We are very encouraged about these results indicating the link between MAUNA LOA macadamia nuts and potential health benefits," said Dr. David Stuart, Director, The Hershey Center for Health and Nutrition, The Hershey Company.

"This study confirms the results of previous studies on the positive benefits of macadamia nuts," said Dr. Amy Griel, RD, Senior Nutrition Research Scientist, The Hershey Company. "Macadamia nuts can now be added to the basket of nuts that health professionals can recommend as part of a cholesterol-lowering diet." Like all nuts and treats, macadamia nuts should be enjoyed in moderation as part of a healthy, balanced diet.

Reference
Griel et al. A macadamia nut-rich diet reduces total and LDL-cholesterol in mildly hypercholesterolemic men and women. J. Nutr. 2008;138:761-7.