Low-Cholesterol Diet Better than a Low-Fat Diet

By Jason Knapfel - DietsInReview.com

If you are fighting high cholesterol, what is your best dietary option for getting levels back to normal? Cholesterol-lowering foods, naturally. A new study confirms that these cholesterol-lowering foods are a better option than low-fat foods.

"Eating more of these simple, inexpensive ingredients such as oatmeal, barley and beans, peas and lentils can have a significant impact on lowering blood cholesterol and risk for a heart attack -- one forkful at a time," says Dr. Linda Van Horn, a professor of preventive medicine at Northwestern University.

The study examined 345 people with high cholesterol and triglyceride levels. They were divided into three eating styles: a low-saturated fat diet, a diet concentrating on cholesterol-lowering foods with two counseling sessions, and a cholesterol-lowering diet with seven counseling sessions.

According to study author Dr. David Jenkins, research chair in nutrition and metabolism at the University of Toronto, it doesn't take a large amount of these cholesterol-lowering foods make a difference. Just adding a handful of nuts each day for a couple of servings of oatmeal or soy protein can do the trick.

The personalized sessions also seemed to help with results.

"Getting people to change from animal to soy protein can be quite a challenge, and people need encouragement," Dr. Jeannie Gazzaniga-Moloo, a registered dietitian and spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association.

Heart disease is the number-one killer in the U.S.. Since one in six Americans have high cholesterol, a risk factor for developing heart disease, educating the public about these simple changes to their diet could be an important step in improving those numbers.

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