"Portfolio diet" lowers blood cholesterol

March 8, 2006 in Heart Health, Nutrition Topics in the News

"Portfolio diet" lowers blood cholesterol

According to study findings published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, a certain combination of foods has been shown to have a dramatic effect on lowering blood cholesterol, by up to 29 percent in some cases.

Lead research, Dr. David Jenkins of the University of Toronto, has been studying the effects of this combination of foods, known as the ìportfolio dietî for six years. The ìportfolioî diet contains soy protein, almonds, soluble fibre and plant sterols as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol.

A previous study by Jenkins showed that the portfolio diet was capable of lowering cholesterol levels by 28 percent. Since this study was highly controlled, Jenkins latest study examined whether the diet could have similar results on individuals in their day-to-day lives.

The latest study followed 66 men and women for 12 months while they followed the portfolio diet, which included shopping and preparing their own meals. Significant reductions in blood cholesterol were seen after just 3 months and sustained for the one-year study period.

On average, LDL cholesterol was lowered by 13 percent, a reduction equivalent to a 26 percent lower risk of heart disease. Individuals, who were the most compliant, experienced a 29 percent reduction in their LDL (bad) cholesterol levels.

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