Diet for Lowering Cholesterol: Soy Beats Low-Fat
"Portfolio Diet" of Cholesterol-Lowering Foods More Effective Than Regular Low-Fat Diet
Motivation Key to Results
But what experts say is most surprising about the study is that one counseling session every three months was nearly as effective as monthly diet counseling sessions in helping people lower their cholesterol.
"The really remarkable result is that these cholesterol-lowering results were achieved after only a couple of counseling sessions," says Mike Miller, MD, professor of medicine, epidemiology and public health at the University of Maryland. "We don't usually see these kinds of results."
Miller says the next question will be whether these results can be maintained beyond the first six months of the diet and whether people can stay motivated to stick to the diet.
Registered dietitian Jeannie Gazzaniga-Moloo, PhD, RD, agrees.
"It could be quite possible that there may be something very straightforward about the portfolio diet that people are able to follow and gain this effect," says Gazzaniga-Moloo, a spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association. "But in my practice, getting people to change from animal to soy protein can be quite a challenge, and people need encouragement."
Gazzaniga-Moloo says people tend to respond to positive dietary messages, and one advantage of the portfolio diet is that it says, "Let's bring in nuts, legumes, and plant sterols."
"That is something proactive, rather than just taking the saturated fat out of the diet," she tells WebMD. "It's quite possibly why the diet is so well accepted."