Four Foods to Lower Cholesterol

Posted on August 24, 2011


Published in the Journal of the American Medical Association the study found that patients with high or borderline high LDL (bad cholesterol) levels were able to lower it by 14% over a six month period by sticking to a cholesterol-lowering food diet.

The diet included plant oils or sterols (i.e. margarine), viscous fibers (oats, barley, psyllium), nuts, and soy.

This diet cut patients’ LDL levels three times more than a traditional low-fat diet.

345 participants took part in the six month study.  One group was given two hour long nutritional counseling sessions, while another received seven sessions within six months.  The final group received advice on how to eat a low saturated fat diet.

After the six months, the two counseled groups showed an average decrease of 25 mg/dL in their LDL levels, while an 8 mg/dL decrease was seen in the low-fat diet group.

Based on a daily 2000-calorie diet, participants ate 2 grams of plant sterol, about 20g of fiber, and 40g of both soy and nut products every day.

Including these foods in one’s diet is not difficult.  Study leader Dr. David Jenkins notes that an easy substitute to a regular breakfast is oat bran or psyllium cereal.  Desserts, too, can have oat bran, nuts, and fruits.

Eating foods to help lower cholesterol can be a welcome alternative to taking pills every day.  If you have any questions please contact the Mayor’s Health Line at 617-534-5050.