The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition conducted a comparative study about a customized “portfolio diet” and one month treatment incorporating standard low serum fat combined with cholesterol-reducing medication. Results shows that both regimens have effective outcomes. This paves way for a new, innovative method of reducing cholesterol in the blood through lower cholesterol foods.

The same group of respondents involved in both regiments. They were rotated in an unbiased method for ninety days. Through this process, researchers can see the exact result of the treatments. A direct comparison was made and the effects were accurately measured.

For the portfolio diet, results show the efficiency it has. This new dietary approach has given way to a non-pharmacologic treatment of hypercholesterolemia. A low saturated fat diet defines the portfolio diet. These have no side effects as compared to cholesterol-lowering medications. For cardiologists and other medically inclined individuals, diet and exercise coupled with an active, healthy lifestyle is far better than taking drugs.

There is a difference between the new portfolio diet and the commonly recommended diet which includes high soluble fiber and low saturated fat content. Functional foods or common food items have shown significant effects in lowering blood cholesterol levels. Once it happens, risk for cardiovascular disease will also lessen. Specifically, the portfolio diet consist of the following foods:

• Fiber (viscous)
Soy protein
• Plant sterols
• Nuts

Each of these foods show a significant effect in lowering blood cholesterol. It can offer a four to seven percent reduction. Once these are used together, LDL or the bad cholesterol will lessen as HDL or good cholesterol increases.

Viscous fiber, as noted above, dissolves in water substances and is sticky in consistency. Therefore, it is a type of soluble fiber. You can find this in barley, okra, oats, eggplant and beans. The body can not absorb this. This is a huge part of the new diet.

Soy protein is also used to replace animal products. This is an effective technique in lowering blood cholesterol. In the study conducted, participants were given soy products such as tofu and soy hotdogs. The definitive mechanism of how soy protein effectively reduces cholesterol levels is still unknown.

Margarine and plant sterols were added together and participants used this in their diet. Sterols are usually found in oat bran, brown rice, legumes, fruits, vegetables and nuts such as almonds. Then, these are mixed with fortified foods such as margarine and orange juice. Cholesterol patients should also know that almonds and other nuts such as peanuts, walnuts and hazelnuts affect the level of cholesterol. You can snack on it during your free time.

Most doctors prescribe medication indicated for hypercholesterolemia. The recent study can help you reduce the risk of possible side effects from pharmacologic treatments. This can also help you maintain a healthy body and well-being.