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Lower your cholesterol with The Portfolio Diet




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

  • 3 oatcakes

  • 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.