Portfolio Diet: Recipe for Lower Cholesterol
For lower cholesterol, fit 4 cholesterol-fighting foods into your diet portfolio.
Putting Cholesterol-Lowering Securities in Your Diet Portfolio continued...
True, the experts said, certain changes to the diet can lower cholesterol. Taken alone, however, none of them solves the problem. The big breakthrough came when Jenkins and colleagues showed that all these things add up. They also showed they could be incorporated into the palatable, tasty portfolio diet.
"People don't normally put these things together," Jenkins tells WebMD. "People talk about soy, and oat bran, and plant sterols, and nuts, but nobody has put them all together."
The portfolio diet recipe for lower cholesterol focuses on four kinds of food:
- The portfolio diet substitutes soy-based foods for meat. "We are looking at soy-based meat substitutes such as soy burgers, soy hot dogs, and soy cold cuts," Jenkins says. "And we also used soy milk as a dairy substitute." For Thanksgiving, he suggests, one might replace turkey with "tofurkey."
- The portfolio diet incorporates as much sticky fiber as possible. Those on the portfolio diet take three daily servings of the natural psyllium product Metamucil -- many use it to thicken their soymilk. Oats and barley replace other grains; preferred vegetables include eggplant and okra.
- The portfolio diet replaces butter and margarine with plant sterol-enriched margarine. U.S. brands include Benecol and Take Control and brands in other countries are Becel and Flora pro-activ. Plant sterols are also available in capsule form as dietary supplements.
- The portfolio diet includes nuts. Study participants ate a handful of almonds every day. The Almond Board of California backs portfolio diet research and offers portfolio diet recipes on its web site. However, other tree nuts also help reduce cholesterol.
The foods in the portfolio diet are available in supermarkets and health food stores. A typical day on the portfolio diet offers:
Breakfast. Including soy milk, oat-bran cereal with chopped fruit and almonds, oatmeal bread, sterol-enriched margarine, and jam
Lunch. Including soy cold cuts, oat-bran bread, bean soup, and fruit
Dinner. Including stir-fry with vegetables, tofu, fruit, and almonds
Snacks. Including nuts, yogurt, and soy milk thickened with Metamucil
Does the Portfolio Diet Work?
Jenkins and colleagues have shown that people who religiously follow the portfolio diet can lower their cholesterol. But how does it work in the real world?