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Sunflower Seeds, Pistachios Among Top Nuts For Lowering Cholesterol

Date:
December 7, 2005
Source:
American Chemical Society
Summary:
In what is believed to be the most comprehensive analysis to date of the phytosterol content of nuts and seeds, researchers at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University analyzed some 27 food products and found that pistachios and sunflower kernels had the highest levels of phytosterols among the nuts and seeds that are most commonly consumed as snack foods in the United States. Their study appears in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

Researchers have known for some time that nuts and seeds are rich sources of phytosterols, a class of plant chemicals that have been shown to reduce cholesterol levels and improve heart health. In what is believed to be the most comprehensive analysis to date of the phytosterol content of nuts and seeds, chemists at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Blacksburg, Va., analyzed some 27 nut and seed products and found that pistachios and sunflower kernels had the highest levels of phytosterols among the nuts and seeds that are most commonly consumed as snack foods in the United States. Their study appears in the Nov. 30 issue of the American Chemical Society's Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

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Sesame seed and wheat germ actually ranked highest but are not consumed as frequently as individual foods, the researchers say. Brazil nuts and walnuts ranked the lowest in phytosterols, they say. The chemists caution that phytosterols are not the only food component involved in lowering cholesterol and that other compounds may also play a role. A well-balanced diet and frequent exercise are important keys to good health, they stress.

The American Chemical Society is a nonprofit organization, chartered by the U.S. Congress, with a multidisciplinary membership of more than 158,000 chemists and chemical engineers. It publishes numerous scientific journals and databases, convenes major research conferences and provides educational, science policy and career programs in chemistry. Its main offices are in Washington, D.C., and Columbus, Ohio.



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The above story is based on materials provided by American Chemical Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


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American Chemical Society. "Sunflower Seeds, Pistachios Among Top Nuts For Lowering Cholesterol." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 December 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/12/051207181227.htm>.
American Chemical Society. (2005, December 7). Sunflower Seeds, Pistachios Among Top Nuts For Lowering Cholesterol. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 27, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/12/051207181227.htm
American Chemical Society. "Sunflower Seeds, Pistachios Among Top Nuts For Lowering Cholesterol." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/12/051207181227.htm (accessed March 27, 2015).

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