English.news.cn 2011-08-24 09:55:00
BEIJING, Aug. 24 (Xinhuanet)-- A new study shows that a diet rich in cholesterol-friendly foods, such as soy products and tree nuts, can decrease LDL (bad) cholesterol significantly, according to media reports on Tuesday.
The study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, found that people who ate a healthy diet filled with cholesterol-lowering foods experienced a 13 percent decrease in their LDL cholesterol levels.
For patients with high levels of so-called bad cholesterol, doctors usually have two prescriptions: cholesterol-lowering statin drugs and a diet that cuts out foods high in saturated fat, such as ice cream, red meat and butter.
But the new study found that when it comes to lowering artery-clogging cholesterol, what you eat may be more important than what you don't eat.
David Jenkins of St. Michael's Hospital and the University created the "portfolio diet," which includes regular consumption of tree nuts and high amounts of fiber from oats, barley and vegetables.
The diet, which replaces butter with plant sterol-enriched margarine and substitute soy-based products for meat, allows maximum benefit in lowering cholesterol and preventing heart disease.
"The study highlighted the power of food to lower risk for cardiovascular disease: What you do eat and what you don't eat are both important," said Dr. Jane Klauer, a New York internist specializing in metabolism and nutrition.
A high overall cholesterol level makes a person nearly twice as likely to suffer a heart attack or stroke as someone whose total cholesterol falls into a healthy range.