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Published on March 11, 2014

Plant Sterols: A Natural Way to Lower Your Cholesterol

March 11, 2014

fruits and vegetablesPlant sterols are naturally found in vegetables, nuts, and seeds and can help promote heart health. Years of research have shown that adding plant sterols to your heart-healthy eating plan may significantly lower your cholesterol levels and your risk for heart disease.

Plant Sterol facts:            

  • Plant sterols are from natural plant extracts; they have been widely studied for 50 years and are recognized as safe by the FDA.
  • Including 0.4 grams of plant sterols twice a day with food is a healthy addition to your heart-healthy eating plan.
  • A total of 0.8 grams of plant sterols per day in a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol can reduce LDL cholesterol by an average of 6% and total cholesterol by an average of 4-5% in as little as 4 weeks.
  • It is very difficult to consume 0.8 grams of plant sterols as part of a normal diet; consuming foods with added plant sterols is an ideal way to incorporate sterols into the diet.
  • Consuming more than 2-3 grams of plant sterols per day, while still safe, offer no additional benefits.
  • Including wholesome foods with added plant sterols, such as certain granola bars, is a convenient way to promote your heart health.

Check Out Heart-Healthy Eating

To protect your heart health, cut back on saturated and trans fats. Eat plenty of fruits, vegetables and whole grains.  Get started by looking at the tips below and check off those that you are already doing. Then, plan to make other heart-healthy changes. Soon you’ll be on the way to a healthier life.

Choose foods that are baked, broiled, or steamed, rather than fried.

  • Use low-fat or fat-free milk, yogurt and cheese.
  • Limit foods that contain hydrogenated vegetable oils or tropical oils, such as palm kernel and coconut oils.
  • Select lean meat, poultry with the skin removed or fish.
  • Use liquids oils, or trans-fat free soft margarine instead of shortening, butter, stick margarine or other solid fats.
  • Start your day with a whole grain cereal topped with fresh fruit.
  • Include foods with added plant sterols to naturally lower cholesterol.
  • Munch on popcorn, fruit chunks, raw vegetables, and granola bars or cereal made with whole grain as a wholesome snack option

 

Melissa Romano, RD, LDN
Certified Diabetes Educator

For more information on naturally-sourced plant sterols, visit www.corowise.com

 

Source: ©2005 General Mills, Inc.

Permission is granted to health professionals to reproduce for nonprofit educational purposes.

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