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Food Trends: Lipid Lowering Foods

A multi-center study including 351 people took a good look at dietary intervention and the ability to decrease LDL cholesterol.  David J. A. Jenkins of St. Michael’s Hospital and the University of Toronto and colleagues compared dietary interventions of a control diet and a portfolio diet for six months.  The control diet emphasized high fiber and whole grains and the portfolio diet emphasized soy protein, plant sterols, viscous fibers, and nuts.  Diets were randomized from June 2007 to January 2009 and counseling was delivered at routine dietary portfolio (two visits in six months) or an intensive dietary portfolio (seven visits in six months). 
Results showed that the control diet decreased LDL Cholesterol numbers by 8.0 mg/dL and the Portfolio diet decreased LDL Cholesterol by 24 mg/dL for the routine counseling and 26 mg/dL for the intensive counseling.
This research study proves a relationship with food, dietary adherence, and reduction of LDL Cholesterol.  When looking at the portfolio diet foods that were focused on were:
Soy protein
Soybeans, texture soy protein, tofu

Plant Sterols
Grains, vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts, seeds
Also fortified in: margarine, OJ, cereal, granola bar

Viscous Fibers
“Sticky fiber” in oats, barley, beans, okra, eggplant

Nuts
Almonds, walnuts, pistachios, hazelnuts, pecans, and pine nuts

As a dietitian, I am thrilled to see a study like this.  Depending on genetic history and cholesterol numbers, a dietitian can be very helpful in the treatment of hyperlipidemia’s.  Be an advocate for yourself.  At your next appointment, if your cholesterol profile is out of whack seek out a registered dietitian to assist with diet modification.  If you can decrease your cholesterol enough, you will not only avoid medication, but you will also avoid future coronary artery disease.  I have many clients who effectively change their lipid profile.  Clients are happy and their physicians keep sending clients my way.  Good luck and be well.

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