I've heard that several types of nuts — including almonds, walnuts, pistachios and I think one or two others — contain compounds that help reduce LDL ("bad cholesterol") and/or help raise HDL ("good cholesterol"). In some cases the compounds are monounsaturated and/or polyunsaturated fats, but I believe I've read of other healthful compounds as well.
What I'd like to know is which nuts are the best at lowering LDLs and/or raising HDLs? If anyone also knows of an actual list that ranks the nuts in ORDER, from the most beneficial to the least beneficial, I'd love if you could share that with me too!! 🙂 Due to a genetic propensity for elevated cholesterol, I want to eat the nuts that will help me the most.
Also, how much of these health benefits are reduced if the nuts are baked or toasted? The reason I ask is because I'm allergic to walnuts, but they only irritate my mouth when RAW. If they're toasted, candied, etc., then they're fine.
Thanks again! 🙂
P.S. I forgot to mention that I don't care if nuts are high in calories, because for me, that's helpful. I'm actually trying to GAIN weight! I'm 5'7" and 120 lbs, so I'm definitely on the lean side, plus it's been hinted to me that my lanky body is not "attractive". 🙁 However, w/ my fast metabolism it's really hard to gain any weight.
So, my "dream food" would be one that could help me gain a few pounds, but at the same time be low in fat & cholesterol, and help reduce my cholesterol numbers as well! 🙂 I guess I should probably keep on dreaming, eh?