Cholesterol: Why Slashing Saturated Fat From Your Diet Isn't Enough
According to a new Canadian study, individuals looking to lower their LDL cholesterol need to do more than just cut back on saturated fat, The Globe and Mail reports.
According to the study, people whose diets included a combination of cholesterol-lowering foods, such as oat bran, nuts and soy, saw their LDL cholesterol drop considerably more than those who followed a low saturated fat regimen.
Furthermore, the low fat diet was shown to have little impact on blood cholesterol.
For more than a decade, Dr. David Jenkins, director of the Risk Factor Modification Centre at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto, has studied the cholesterol-lowering effect of a low saturated fat diet that also includes viscous fiber [oats, oat bran], nuts, soy protein, and plant sterols. This “portfolio” diet, as it is coined, has been shown to cut LDL cholesterol by 28 percent.
Jenkins’ current research, published in this week’s issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, sets out to determine if a portfolio diet could lower LDL cholesterol better than a low saturated fat diet.
Jenkins’ study consisted of 351 men and postmenopausal women with mild to moderately high LDL cholesterol. Some participants were instructed to add portfolio foods – oats, barley, psyllium, soy, nuts, plant-sterol enriched margarine – to their daily diet while others were instructed to follow a control diet that was low in saturated fat and others were instructed to follow a control diet that was low in saturated fat and cholesterol and included fruits, vegetables, and whole grain cereals.