What Is the Portfolio Diet?

by Holistic_Health

How to get cholesterol down? Try a portfolio of key foods scientifically proven to lower cholesterol levels.

What if there was scientific evidence that eating particular foods could lower your cholesterol levels just as effectively as drugs? As luck would have it, a diet exists that does exactly that.

Research published in 'The Journal of the American Medical Association' indicates a diet stressing a ‘portfolio’ of cholesterol-lowering foods did a superior job of lowering ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol than a low-saturated-fat vegetarian diet.

Lower Cholesterol Naturally

Many people struggle with high cholesterol. Even with diet modifications, a large number end up on medication and have to deal with its side effects. There are foods that can block cholesterol absorption and prompt the liver to pull cholesterol out the blood.

If your doctor is on the verge of placing you on medication, you may want to discuss adopting The Portfolio Diet as an alternative. Portfolio was developed by Dr. David Jenkins -- a nutritional researcher at the University of Toronto. Jenkins is also well known for the glycemic index which ranks food by its affect on blood sugar.

The primary four components of The Porfolio Diett are tree nuts, soy protein, soluble fiber, and plant sterols and stanols. The diet does not allow for meat, fish, or dairy. A bit of fruit jam is the only permissible sweet.

Portfolio Diet

Could it be as effective as popping pills to reduce cholesterol? | HealthWatchMD

Foods Containing Plant Sterols

Dr. Jenkins's studies have shown that Portfolio can lower 'bad' LDL cholesterol by as much as 28 percent. Although the diet is designed for heart health, many of its followers lose weight as well as lowering their cholesterol levels.

If you decide to adopt the diet, substitute soy-based foods for milk and meat. Also, eat lots of 'sticky' fiber -- three servings each day of psyllium, barley, and oat supplements. You should also eat plenty of veggies like okra, eggplant, and nuts. If you prefer, you may have plant sterols in capsule form.

To reach the level of sterols required by Portfolio, you will need to use margarine like Benecol© or Take Control© which are both foods fortified with plant sterols. Avacados are the only food with more than 100 mg of sterols per serving. Yet another good sterol source is corn oil with 130 mg per tablespoon. 

These foods contain at least .4 gram of plant sterol per serving, but keep in mind you need twice that to affect cholesterol:

  • Almonds
  • Brussel sprouts
  • Sunflower and sesame seeds
  • Olive oil
  • Canola oil

If you prefer to lower cholesterol by means other than drugs, give The Portfolio Diet a try. A 2003 study of 46 adults saw an average of 28.6 percent reduction in LDL by 4 weeks. The plan may take some getting used to because of the foods you need to give up and those you need to add, but the results are worth it. Don't be afraid to suggest it to your physician or nutritionist.


Reference: Effect of a dietary portfolio of cholesterol-lowering foods given at 2 levels of intensity of dietary advice on serum lipids in hyperlipidemia: a randomized controlled trial

Updated: 09/09/2013, Holistic_Health
 
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How do you lower your cholesterol?


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Holistic_Health on 03/10/2012

Yep, food is medicine - the best kind.

katiem2 on 03/10/2012

Thanks for the great tips on lowering cholesterol and healthy living by way of a healthy intake of super foods. I enjoy learning more about good nutrition, it's amazing what benefits and changes occur from eating good food.

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