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I hope you can help me. I eat peanut butter on wheat toast for breakfast. I eat 1/4 cup of nuts at lunch. My LDL is 89, which is a little high. Does eating lots of nuts cause a higher LDL? My cholesterol is 196 and my HDL is high at 99. Would a high HDL cause my cholesterol to be a little high?
You have an excellent cholesterol profile. Congratulations! We love to see HDL (good cholesterol) over 40 and 99 is fantastic. Having a target of less than 100 for LDL (bad cholesterol) has been shown to lower the risk of heart attack and stroke.
Nuts and seeds of all kinds do help improve HDL and to some extent lower LDL cholesterol as do legumes (the peanuts are actually legumes).
Here's a handout that can help you understand these types of cholesterols better. Keep up the great work with your diet.
Thanks for writing,
Timothy S. Harlan, MD, FACP