Sunday, July 16, 2006

Eating to lower cholesterol (2) -- Plant sterols

The 2nd categories of cholesterol-lowering foods are food rich in plant sterols, such soybeans or certain vegetables. Plant sterols are compounds so similar in structure to cholesterol that they compete in our intestines. That means less of the real cholesterol is absorbed.
Also based on the recent American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (Vol. 83, No. 3, 582-591, March 2006) report, eating 2 grams of plant each day can lower LDL cholesterol by about 10%. But you need to consume them every day for the cholesterol-controlling benefits to continue.
How to do it ? Look for plant sterols-fortified product since plant sterols are typically extracted from soybeans or certain vegetables. Use margarine-type of spreads (Benecol, Take Control and Smart Balance). Some brand of orange juice, yogurt, cheese, salad dressings,granola bars and chocolate are also rich in plant sterols. You can also directly eat soy products for intake of plant sterols - soy milk, soy nuts, soy ice cream and cereals, crackers and chips made with soy protein.

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