In our recent blog article, Understanding your cholesterol levels, we discussed the Portfolio Diet, an evidenced-based dietary approach to treating high cholesterol.
The Portfolio Diet can be as effective as taking a statin to reduce cholesterol and can reduce LDL by 17%, and total cholesterol by 12%.
The diet consists of adding four foods to your diet each day. These foods individually reduce LDL cholesterol, but their effects are enhanced if eaten together.
These foods are:
25-50g soya protein
3g beta-glucan from oats or barley
1.5g-3g plant sterol or stanol, eaten with meals, from fortified foods, for example, spreads, drinks and yogurts
30g tree nuts
Here are some examples of how you can add these to your diet:
1. Soya Protein for high cholesterol
Add a combination of the following to your diet each day:
Marinated tofu pieces, 100g = 17g soya protein
Firm silken tofu, 100g = 8g soya protein
Soya mince, 100g = 15-22g soya protein
Soya drink 250ml = 8.5g
Greek-style plain soya alternative 150g = 9g soya protein
Edamame beans, 80g= 13g soya protein
2. Plant sterol and stanol for high cholesterol
Aim for 1.5g- 3g daily (Always consumed with meals).
Plant stanols can be consumed in fortified foods, as below, or supplements:
Benecol yogurt drink contains 2g of plant stanol
Benecol Spread 10g(2tsp) contains 0.5g plant stanol
3. Tree nuts and peanuts for high cholesterol
For example, 30g of walnuts, almonds, macadamias, pistachios, pecans, brazil nuts, hazelnuts or peanuts
4. Beta-glucans from oats or barley for high cholesterol
Each of the following suggestions provide the effective daily dose of 3g beta- glucans:
A bowl of porridge using 30g dry oats
1 oat breakfast biscuit, e.g. Oatibix
60g cooked pearl barley - in stews, casseroles and salads
Alongside the foods above, you should aim to eat a whole foods, plant based diet. This means basing your meals around whole-grains, legumes, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds. You can eat meat and dairy, but think of them as a condiment, rather than the main event.
Read more about Understanding your cholesterol levels here.
If you would like to have a better in depth understanding of your cholesterol levels and a personalised expert review of how to improve your levels through lifestyle interventions, please book in for a Wellness Check with one of our doctors.