Cholesterol-lowering foods such as salmon, walnuts, and oatmeal are eaten by almost everyone, but experts say eating plant sterol and stanol-containing foods is another easy water to lower your LDL cholesterol.
What Do Plant Sterols & Stanols Do?
Sterols and stanols look similar to cholesterol, so when traveling through the digestive tract, they may actually prevent real cholesterol from being absorbed into your bloodstream. The cholesterol flows right out of the body as waste.
Where’s The Evidence?
Research has found that three servings a day of plant sterols and stanols can reduce cholesterol by 20 points. Another study found that drinking sterol-fortified orange juice, over a two week period, dropped their LDL cholesterol by 12.4%.
How To Get Them In Your Diet?
- Certain foods contain them naturally such as broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, avocados, tomatoes, and more.
- Switch from butter or lard to sterol-fortified oils like avocado oil or olive oil.
- Drink your sterol/stanols by consuming low-fat or no-fat milk, almond milk, rice milk, or orange juice.
How Much Do You Need?
The National Cholesterol Education Program recommends those with high cholesterol should consume at least 2 grams of sterols or stanols per day. Getting these nutrients from whole foods, instead of additives, is the best way to ensure you receive all of the benefits.