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
"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
- 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
- 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
Lunch. Including soy cold cuts, oat-bran bread, bean soup,
Dinner. Including stir-fry with vegetables, tofu, fruit,
Snacks. Including nuts, yogurt, and soy milk thickened
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