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Know a recipe that includes salmon or walnuts? Your heart hopes so. Research shows these two omega-3-rich foods pack a one-two punch when it comes to keeping cholesterol in check.
A recent study from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that eating walnuts lowered levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol by about 9%, while eating fatty fish like salmon increased HDL (good) cholesterol by about 4% and cut triglycerides by 11% to boot.
"Not all omega-3s are created equal," says researcher Sujatha Rajaram, associate professor of nutrition at Loma Linda University in California. The fats in walnuts and fatty fish provide unique measures of protection against cardiovascular disease, she says.
This means walnuts and fatty fish "don't compete; they complement each other," Rajaram says, so eat both foods as part of a heart-healthy diet.
To reap the benefits, have about one handful of walnuts a day, plus a piece of salmon about the size of a deck of cards twice a week.
-- Vi-An Nguyen