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Saturday, November 26, 2011

Today, I just found more information about how Plant sterols and Stanols help lowering our cholesterol: This is what I found from the MSNBC website:

How do they work? 
Plant sterols and stanols act very much like cholesterol itself: Soft and waxy, they serve as building blocks for hormones, vitamins, and cell walls. These structural similarities give them their cholesterol-lowering capabilities. As sterols travel through the digestive tract, they compete with cholesterol, so some of the sterols are absorbed into the bloodstream instead of artery-clogging cholesterol. The bonus: Studies show that sterols and stanols don't affect artery-protecting HDL cholesterol.

I think this is very interesting: 

How do you eat them? Stick to 2g a day; getting more may actually reduce the positive effects, says Kendall. And once you start eating sterol-fortified foods, don't stop — otherwise your LDL levels will head back up. Follow these guidelines:
  • Split up your 2g daily goal. "Have about 1g at breakfast, and then another at either lunch or dinner," says Keenan. This not only helps prevent absorption of the cholesterol in your meal but also blocks the cholesterol your body manufactures during digestion — which amounts to about 80% of your total count.
  • Use them as substitutes. If a food you already eat comes in a sterol-fortified version, use that product instead. Otherwise, try to cut an equivalent number of calories elsewhere in your diet. Because sterol-fortified foods aren't necessarily low cal, they may cause harmful weight gain if you aren't mindful of how much you're eating.
  • Include them as part of a low-fat, low-cholesterol, high-fiber diet. That will reduce your risk of heart disease even more. Although sterols and stanols do give your heart a boost, they aren't your only route to good health.
Here are more information about Sterols and Stanols from 

Nature's Top Ten Sources of Sterols and Stanols

Many of the foods that you already enjoy are rich sources of plant sterols and stanols. These include corn oil (0.13g/Tbsp), sunflower oil (0.1g/Tbsp), many types of beans (0.07g/1/2 cup), corn (0.06g/1/2 cup), peanut butter (0.05g/2 Tbsp), olive oil (0.03 g/1 Tbsp), almonds (0.02g/1 oz.), oranges (0.02g/1 small orange), apples (0.01g/1 small apple) and avocados (0.008g/1 oz).

Commercial Sources of Sterols and Stanols

Sterols and stanols are also available in commercial foods that have been fortified with them. These include Benecol spread (0.85g/tbsp), Healthy Heart Yogurt 0.4g/6 oz.), Lifetime lowfat cheese (0.65g/1 oz.), Minute Maid Premium Heartwise orange juice (0.04g/8 oz.), Nature Valley Healthy Heart Chewy Granola Bars (0.4g/bar), Orowheat whole grain bread (0.4g/1 1/2 slices) and Take Control spread (1.7g/Tbsp)

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