Researchers from Brandeis University may have found tortillachips to lower cholesterol. The investigators said that frying chips inoil with phytosterol—a plant ingredient—can soak up cholesterol withoutharming the taste. In a study of 10 participants, the researchersfound that low-density lipoprotein (LDL; "bad") cholesterol wasreduced by an average of 15%. The study had the participants eat two1-oz servings of phytosterol-enriched tortilla chips for 4 weeks.
The researchers also reported no changes in the participants'highdensitylipoprotein, and a 10% reduction in total cholesterol. Thespiked chips worked by blocking the body's absorption of LDL asfoods were eaten along with the chips. The investigators'methodof extending sterols'cholesterol-lowering benefits had the sterolsbeing heated and cooled so that they recrystallize in a form compatiblewith fried foods.