Vegetarian Diet Cuts Cholesterol

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A diet combining a few cholesterol-lowering plant components reduced low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol by 29% in a recent study. The findings were reported in the December 2002 issue of Metabolism. The diet consisted of soy proteins, nuts, and viscous fibers (such as those found in oats and barley), and plant sterols. Plant sterols are found in vegetable oils and leafy green vegetables. The beneficial effect on LDL levels was found after participants followed the diet for only 1 month. ?This opens up the possibility that diet can be used much more widely to lower blood cholesterol and possibly spare some individuals from having to take drugs,? said lead investigator David Jenkins.